William Shakespeare cometh to downtown Woodstock this month when the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village brings “The Taming of the Shrew” to City Center Auditorium.
Performances are today through Sunday, and March 22 and 24 Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. There will be no performance March 23.
With a wild and crazy plot that includes three suitors for one sister and another sister who is basically impossible to live with and characters disguising themselves as other characters, this comedy is a real crowd pleaser.
At the time Shakespeare wrote “The Taming of the Shrew,” Commedia dell’arte was extremely popular, especially in Italy. Comedies were performed by traveling players, often on city streets but sometimes at court, said Elm Street artistic director Gay Groom.
“This Italian comedy included clever dialogue, masks, colorful costumes, dance and all sorts of physical humor — essentially slapstick. It spread all across Europe and even present day theater is influenced by Commedia,” she said.
By implementing the commedia style, audiences won’t be bothered by Katherine’s “submission” to new husband Petruchio, Grooms said.
“Even many of the character names in ‘Shrew’ are Commedia style names. How more obvious could it be that Shakespeare did not intend to be taken seriously?” Grooms said.
Director Travice Obas and her cast have embraced this interpretation.
The costumes were created by Amelia Bahr of Suwanee and fit to the cast by Kathy Downey and Cindy Flanders. Sets and lighting are by Jim and Cindy Flanders, Jim Harkins, Eric Kays and Shannon Sokol.
Specialty makeup is by Shawn McLeod and L. Harmony Reid.
The cast includes Evan Hynes and Jamila Turner as Petruchio (the Tamer) and Katherine (the Shrew) with Montrel Miller and Emmy Ferguson as Lucentio and Bianca.
Additional cast members are Joe Morrison, L. Harmony Reid, Michael Jenks, Timothy Meador, Cary Fricke Jr., Amber Cunningham, Anthony Vastola, Shanna Clister, Mary Ashley Gregorakos, Alexis Sanford and Erica Walker. Tickets are $12 for adults, $11 for seniors/students in advance online or $15, $13 at the door. Prices include sales tax.
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village at City Center Auditorium is located at 8534 Main St. in Woodstock.
For information, call (678) 494-4251 or visit www.elmstreetarts.org.