Popular Shakespearean comedy to open The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre will present one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, The Taming of the Shrew, Feb. 19-22 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre.
The Taming of the Shrew is a witty, high-spirited comedy that explores a universal theme that has entertained men and women since the beginning of time: the conflict between the sexes and the comic situations that this eternal warfare begets. As Petruchio's rough and tumble wooing of Katherine plays against the idealized love story of Kate's younger sister, Bianca, and her beau, Lucentio, misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and fast-paced action give way to a thoughtful examination of marriage and the nature of identity.
Brian Begley (Vermillion), a graduate student in directing, and Colleen Marsh (Sioux Falls), a senior theatre major, play the competitive Petruchio and Kate, roles that were immortalized by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a 1960s-era film of the play. Keith Goeden (Yankton) assumes the role of Baptista, father to Katherine and Bianca, while the younger lovers, Bianca and Lucentio, are played by Desir� Kelly (Tea) and Thomas Golden (Sturgis). Martha Crouse (Morris, MN) and Dan Workman (Salt Lake City) render the comic servants Tranio and Grumio, respectively.
Audiences may be surprised upon entering the Knutson Theatre to see an adaptation of a Shakespearean stage as the setting. The thrust shaped stage allows for a sense of immediacy while also supporting the presentational style of the production. The inner above and below and numerous points of entry, that were also characteristic of the Shakespearean stage, increase the opportunity for surprising bits of business and a fluid flow of action.
Professor Ron Moyer, chair of the department of theatre, directs The Taming of the Shrew while professors Tim Case, Linda Scribner, and Dennis Chandler design the set, costumes and lights, respectively.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and youth, and $1 for USD students with valid ID. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Feb. 12, and noon to curtain on days of performance. To make reservations, call the University theatre box office at (605) 677-5400.