“Taming of the Shrew” Reimagines Shakespeare

Stacey Stein

Masque and Triangle produced William Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” on April 17-19 on the Merrill House Lawn. By dressing the actors in modern clothes and incorporating props such as cell phones, the play was brought into modern times, while still staying true to its roots.

Sophomore director Allison Spanyer proposed the idea of putting on “Taming of the Shrew” in order to help bring Shakespeare to Colgate in a setting outside of the classroom.

The play was led by first-year Andie Nugent as Katherine, with sophomore Alanna Ticali playing her sister, Bianca. Sophomore Arjun Bhuptani portrayed Petruchio, Katherine’s suitor.

Other cast members include first-years Steven Nave, Jason Alexander and Hannah Thrall, sophomores Bryan Acevedo, Marissa Bleiler, Zachary Abt, Brittney Wittmer and Arjun Bhuptani and juniors Lami Mason, Jason Paul and Ledimir Nunez.

Showing the play outside provided an idyllic backdrop for the performance and made it an especially pleasant experience for the audience. According to Spanyer, they decided to hold the play outside as an alternative to the usual Brehmer Theater or Ryan studios. In cities, there is a tradition of showing Shakespeare outside, so Spanyer hoped that this was an innovative way to bring Shakespeare to campus.

Of course, showing the play outside was not without consequences. Although at times outside noises made it difficult to hear, the actors did an excellent job of speaking loud enough for the audience to hear. According to Spanyer, weather also made it difficult to rehearse.

One of the most interesting aspects of the play was that the actors were dressed in modern clothes. This helped make Shakespeare, which can often be hard to relate to in modern times, seem applicable to modern day life. Although Shakespeare’s themes are timeless, the language can sometimes seem outdated, but Masque and Triangle was successfully able to bring the play into modern times.

According to Spanyer, this was one of her goals, and she hoped that modern clothes and props would help the audience connect to the ideas more. She also wanted the audience to better understand the sexist and misogynistic characters.

The play’s comedic aspects were on full display, and the character’s portrayals kept the audience laughing throughout much of the play.

Overall, “Taming of the Shrew” was extremely well done. The fact of the performance being outside made attending it an experience in itself. The actors were engaging and kept the audience entertained. The return of Shakespeare to Colgate was much needed, and hopefully Masque and Triangle will bring us more of these plays in the future.