The Taming of the Shrew is a great story. And while it is funny, surprising, playful, and political, too, a great deal of it swirls around issues of gender roles, identity, money, and power. Last year, while I was thinking about this play, I also happened to be watching the DVDs of the HBO series Deadwood. The show, set in an ungoverned stretch of American frontier in the late 1800s, also swirls around issues of gender, identity, money, and power. And I thought… why not? Why not let these two wonderful pieces of storytelling talk to each other in interesting ways in this production of Shrew?
So we have this unique Shrew, influenced and inspired by Deadwood. Of course, it is influenced and inspired by many other things as well, most particularly the amazing music of singer/songwriter Cliff Eberhardt, who is composing original music and performing in a role we call The Blind Balladeer; having real-life couple Kate Eastwood Norris and Cody Nickell in the central roles; and a truly extraordinary cast who will put their own idiosyncratic stamp on many of these characters. All of these things (and many more) taken together should make for a rollicking, rambunctious, powerful, and provocative take on this fun and tricky play.
We begin rehearsals on Tuesday, and preview performances begin May 1. I hope you’ll join us for The Taming of the Shrew.