Gadsden State Theatre Department presents ‘Taming of the Shrew’
Gadsden, Ala. — Gadsden State Community College has five showings of “The Taming of the Shrew” this month. It will be presented at 7 p.m. March 9-11 at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center on the Wallace Drive Campus. Tickets are $10 for seniors and students and $12 for adults.
Two free performances will be presented at 5 p.m. March 16 in the field behind the Ayers Campus in Anniston and at 5 p.m. March 18 on the small stage near the church at Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden.
William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” takes place in Padua, where several eligible bachelors have gathered to claim the hand of Bianca; however, her father refuses to allow her to marry before her older sister, Katharina. Joe Fuselli, the director of the Gadsden State production, said he was hesitant to do the play because of its misogynistic undertones. The dated storyline includes women being subservient to men as they focus on the virtues of “wifely obedience.”
“I was afraid to do this show because I was always told it was misogynistic when I was a student,” he said. “Then, I read it. I had a completely different reaction. Sure, it does not fit our image of the modern man/woman, love/marriage dynamic but that isn’t what struck me. I was blown away by how cleverly Shakespeare paid homage to the theatre of the past.”
Fuselli said it’s actually a play within a play and appears to be Shakespeare’s nod to the medieval interludes and plays done in court.
“They were nonreligious and often silly and bawdy,” he said. “There are also many references to commedia dell’arte. All this leads me to believe that Shakespeare never meant for the subject to be taken seriously. Rather, it is a parody; a comedic view of a world centuries ago.”
The cast includes Hayden Reeves as Baptista; Oli Harp as Katharina; Lily Rybarczik as Bianca; Ryan Kelly as Tom Buchanan; Josh Kimbril as Gremio; Kadin Gardener as Hortensio; Jonas Abernathy as Lucentio; Elliot Ford as Tranio; Buffy Bailey as Biondello; Lucas Akba as Grumio; Ashley Pentecost as Curtis/Cherise; Layla Abernathy as Widow; Christen Law as Tailor; Rachael Etheridge as Haberdasher; Quinton Kirk as Merchant; Jacob Beasley as Vincentio; Michael Reeves as Attendant to Petruchio; and Alyssa Farley, Attendant to Baptista.
Fuselli is assisted by Gregory Heathcock, technical director; Emma Beasley, stage manager; and Alyssa Farley, assistant stage manager.
Tickets for the Wallace Hall performances can be purchased online at www.GadsdenState.edu/FineArts. They will also be available at the door.