PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Theatre Program will present its fourth main-stage production of the year, William Shakespeare’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew,” April 8-10 and April 15-17.
Around 1594, before “Much Ado About Nothing” or “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare wrote a fantasy about courtship and marriage in Padua, Italy. Sometimes called thought-provoking comedy, sometimes farce, the play went on to become one of his funniest stories.
All performances will be at 8 p.m. in Daggy Hall’s Jones Theatre. The April 17 performance includes a 2 p.m. matinee as part of Mom’s Weekend. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens and $4 for students with ID and can be purchased at Daggy Hall Box Office from 1:30-4 p.m. the week of each performance. For reservations, call (509) 335-7236.
Baptista, played by Will Abrahamse, wishes to marry off his two daughters. The gentlemen of Padua all yearn for the young and lovely Bianca played by Stacey Walsh, yet are terrified of the elder, feisty and strong-willed Kate as portrayed by graduating senior Allison Harding. Baptista’s solution is to not bestow his youngest daughter before he finds an elder for the first.
The suitors vow to find a man strong enough to be a match for Kate and to rid the house of her. They stumble on Petruchio, played by Ray Pritchard, who, on hearing how much money comes with Kate, takes it upon himself to become her husband. He goes off to tame the shrew and the suitors, portrayed by Erik Johnson and Joseph Monohon, as they fight over who gets the available Bianca. But they must compete with wealthy Lucentio and his servant Tranio, played by Peter King and Audrey Bensel, respectively.
This is a gender-bending production that raises questions about identity, social role, illusion and the age-old “battle of the sexes” in a whole new light, organizers said.
Participants include returning alumnus and first-year director Stan Brown, set designer Dick Slabaugh, costume designer Dorothy Hopkins and stage manager Liz Huri.