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April 2008

Release Date: April 4, 2008

Arts at ASU Gives ‘Taming of the Shrew’ Modern Turn

Angelo State University’s Arts at ASU program gives William Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” some modern dialogue while keeping traditional costumes in an adaptation of the comedy beginning Thursday, April 24.

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. April 24-26, May 1-3 and for 2 p.m. April 27 in the ASU Modular Theatre in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building, 2602 Dena Drive. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for non-ASU students and $3 for ASU students, faculty and staff.

The “Shrew” is Katharina, daughter of Baptista, a desperate nobleman who offers the hand of his lovely younger daughter, Bianca, to anyone who can find a husband for the not-so-nice Katharina. Cocky Petruchio quickly accepts the challenge.

The younger Bianca’s suitors don disguises and impersonate tutors, all trying to find a way around Baptista’s restrictions with hilarious results. Petruchio learns that taming the fiery Katharina will be difficult in this battle of the sexes.

Christina Jones, who plays Katharina, is a Midland Lee High School graduate who appeared in “XSR:Die!” as Rosemary Dolinski. Her other credits include roles in “Paganini,” “Suessical,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Good Doctor.”

Nathaniel Shouse, who plays Baptista, is a San Angelo sophomore. He has appeared in several ASU productions, including “XSR:Die!” He also has acted in the main stage productions “Proposals,” “Mousetrap” and “Pippin.”

Florida native Benjamin Briggs plays Petruchio after previously portraying Rapunzel’s prince in Arts at ASU’s “Into the Woods.” The Air Force veteran has been an ASU student since completing his enlistment in 2006.

Alyssia Rivera has been cast as Bianca. The Kingsville H.M. King High School graduate has appeared in previous ASU productions “Necessary Targets,” “Pippin” and “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.”

Additional cast members include David Pedersen as Vincentio, Arturo Garcia as Lucentio, Travis McCallum as Gremio, Mason Cargile as Hortensio, Dorian Serna as Tranio, LeRoyal Tutt as Biondello, Zeth Everett Collum as Grumio, Scott Meyer as Curtis and Justin Beau Howell as a pedant, Walter and as a wedding guest.

Norma Allie Perez plays a widow, Nicole and a wedding guest; Nathan Prater plays a tailor, a wedding guest and Nathaniel; Katie Gambill plays Sugarsop, a wedding guest and a servant; Aaron Glass plays the servant, Joseph, a haberdasher and a wedding guest; and Laurie Proveaux plays a wedding guest and a servant.

James Worley, associate professor of drama and the play’s director, adapted the dialogue for a modern audience.

“I’m bringing the language more toward a modern-day vernacular while keeping the original poetic rhythm of the Bard’s original words,” Worley said. “I’m not changing the story at all, but the characters will be a little easier for a present-day San Angelo audience to understand.”

Worley said while “thees, thous and forsoothes” have been replaced, much of the beauty and cleverness of Shakespeare’s play shines through.

The play will be presented “arena-style,” where the audience surrounds the stage and actors.

“No spectator will be more than 15 feet from the stage,” Worley said. “This intimate arrangement often serves to make the events of the play more immediate to the audience.”

While the language is modern, the costumes and setting for the production remain true to the period of the play, Worley said.

“The story is set in Padua, Italy, during the Renaissance, and our ASU costumer, Eldra Sanford, has designed a complement of sumptuous, historically accurate garments from the period for the actors to wear,” Worley said. “Additionally, our technical director, Matt Smith, has planned for just the right touch of authenticity to the lighting and setting of an Italian city’s courtyard/park area.”

Reservations may be made by calling 942-2000 after April 14. For more information, contact Worley at 942-2318.