Okay, using the word "shrew" makes my 21st Century self cringe for some reason. Other than the mouse-like mammal, a shrew is defined as "a bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman" which is certainly not most women, and certainly not just women who don't want to get married. But Shakespeare used it, and so do I. Is Katherina a shrew? Is female-Petruchio a shrew? Well, now you can judge for yourself in a month or so.
If you go to The Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" this Spring, you'll see a lot of women on stage, although I am sure there are no real "shrews" performing. Directed by Tony-nominated Phyllida Lloyd, A Taming of the Shrew will boast an all-female cast in this "bold new take" on Shakespeare's comedy. This play is one of my personal favorites, and a fun show to put your spin on (I even directed this years ago myself, setting the play in a toy store, with "Superhero Katherina" and "Snow White Bianca" living in their doll cases, under the rule of the rich store owner, Baptista). The show features the talented actors Candy Buckley, Donna Lynne Champlin, Rosa Gilmore, Judy Gold, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Cush Jumbo, Teresa Avia Lim, Janet McTeer, Adrienne C. Moore, Anne L. Nathan, Gayle Rankin, Pearl Rhein, Leenya Rideout, Jackie Sanders, and Stacey Sargeant.
If you're looking for a memorable night to experience some free stellar theatre in the park, head down to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park May 24-June 26 and find your cozy outdoor seat for the 8pm performance. But make sure to secure your tickets in advance. You can get them in person at the Delacorate, downtown at Astor Place, online (lottery-style), or in your own borough if you're in the city. While the show is free (huge thank you to The Public!) if you have the means to support The Public Theater and this amazing experience they offer to the city, consider making a $200+ donation, which will get you your very own reserved seat to Taming of the Shrew, as well as other membership benefits.
So while it doesn't quite feel like Spring up here in the Northeast (yes, we had flurries this weekend), let's start thinking Shakespeare in the (Spring) Park! Enjoy!
Share your thoughts: Have you been to see Shakespeare performed outside? What did you enjoy about it? Do you think theatres should offer free plays occasionally? What is your favorite Shakespearian play?