Like a lot of women, I've never really liked The Taming of the Shrew. It can be downright painful to watch fiesty Katherine turn into a doormat to please her unappealing husband Petruchio.
So I appreciated the entertaining and creative version produced by Lean & Hungry Theater.
A reluctant teen and her enthusiastic mom are listening to a radio broadcast of “La Fierecilla Domada.” A telenovela narrator provides transitions from scene to scene, with brief explanations as necessary (always useful in Shakespeare, when so many characters are pretending to be someone else).
Key scenes are presented in the original language, with small changes to fit the telenovela theme. For example, the wealthy "Señor Minola" lives on an hacienda with a private golf course.
While the play does end with "Catarina's" speech exhorting wives to obey their husbands, in the next episode of the telenovela, she may not be so docile…
I think this would be a great resource for English literature classes, especially with students who might feel intimidated by Shakespeare or might not see the relevance to their own lives. (Spoiler alert: the girl's mom asks her at the end, "Don't you know some girls who stop being themselves just to get a boyfriend?")
Listen to free streaming audio of The Taming of the Shrew at http://wamu.org/programs/lean_hungry_theater_taming_of_the_shrew/13/02/07/lean_hungry_theater_taming_of_the_shrew_audio
Listen to an audio clip of Lean & Hungry's production of Twelfth Night at http://www.leanandhungrytheater.com/12thNightClip.mp3
Download Lean & Hungry's productions of Romeo and Juliet, MacBeth, or Twelfth Night for $15.00 each at
As You Like It (interview)
Lean and Hungry Shakespeare (interview)
Women Writers at the Time of Shakespeare (interview)
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