You don’t need to travel to the Globe Theatre for this Shakespearean act. Beginning on Thursday, April 20 and running through April 25, a Fairfield University production of “The Taming of the Shrew” will be performed at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at 8 p.m., with its final performance occurring on April 25 at 2 p.m.
This production of “The Taming of the Shrew” will be a bit different than those who have read or seen the play before may remember. While the language itself will remain true to the Bard’s written words, this is Shakespeare with a twist. The first is that this will be a genderbent production, where actors such as Liam Cahill ’18 and Brendan McNamara ’17 will perform the roles of Katharina, “The Shrew,” and Bianca while actresses like Emily Ramsey ’20 will play Petruchio, Katharina’s husband and the lead role.
“I think audiences will love how we genderbent the show. To see a woman demanding a man to become her wife is something many people have probably never seen,” Ramsey joked.
Throughout the performances, the characters will be utilizing social media, taking pictures and dressing in modern clothing in an effort to make the show more contemporary. This will include transforming characters like Grumio (Danielle Agate ’17) from a traditional Shakespearean fool into a gangster for the performance, with clothing and props ranging from gold chains to ostentatious sneakers to match.
“This show is a modern take on the Shakespearean classic. We are incorporating cell phones and social media, so it will be a lot of fun for our audiences,” Brendan McNamara ’17 responded when asked what inspired the gender-bending of the classic play. “We hope it will bring up some contemporary issues of gender-politics, as well as allow the audience to reflect on the role that gender plays in social media. The audience should be prepared to have fun — this is not your typical Shakespeare.”
The cast has been practicing virtually non-stop since their auditions in January and are anticipating the night to be a great success but as Liam Cahill pointed out, the transformation of a Shakespearean play into modern times does not come without a challenge, especially when the majority of the performers are new to Shakespeare, if not to theater as a whole.
“[Initially] it was very confusing and discouraging [to] read a line of this play and have no freaking idea what Shakespeare was even trying to mean,” Cahill reminisced. “However, our director has studied and performed Shakespeare for years, and he has been an incredible help and guide for us.”
“We made it our own and the audience will be surprised to see how [genderbent Taming of the Shrew] is played out,” Ramsey concluded, revealing her hopes for the show to be a success. “The cast and crew have worked so hard on this play, and I believe the audience will see Shakespeare in a new light as a result.”
Tickets for all performances are available for purchase in the Quick Center for $5 for students and $15 for general admission.