Visitor Health & Safety

COVID-19 updates & Info

View

Tickets (216) 241-6000
Subscriptions (216) 640-8869
Groups (216) 453-4457

Hanna Theatre


Playhouse Square
2067 E. 14th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Mimi Ohio Theatre


Playhouse Square
1511 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Great Lakes Theatre Offices


1501 Euclid Ave.
Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 241-5490

Tickets (216) 241-6000  •  Subscriptions (216) 640-8869 

The Hanna experience

Our intimate Hanna Theatre home features 7 seating options where you are never more than 13 rows from the stage!

Learn More

student Matinees

Make classic theater come alive for your students!

Book Now

Show your support!

Donors like you enable our world-class mainstage productions & vital educational programming…while enjoying great benefits!

Donate

The Taming of the Shrew

A 1980s-Infused Battle of the Sexes

  Sep 30 - Oct 29, 2011

  Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square

  Run Time: 2 hours and 39 minutes

About the Show

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Tracy Young

She’s got an attitude…but he’s got a plan! Marriage, money and mayhem take center stage in Shakespeare’s uproarious battle of the sexes.

Marriage, money and mayhem take center stage in Shakespeare’s uproarious battle of the sexes. It’s a clash of wits and wills as fortune-hunting Petruchio drags quick-tempered Kate to the altar to become the wife she never imagined she’d be. Can love tame a shrewish heart and surprise an unbridled bachelor?

The Taming of the Shrew Playbill

the-taming-of-the-shrew-playbill

Synopsis

Baptista, a wealthy merchant of Padua, has two daughters: Katherina and Bianca. Because of Katherina’s shrewish disposition, her father has declared that no one shall wed Bianca until Katherina has been married. Lucentio of Pisa, one of many suitors to the younger and kinder Bianca, devises a scheme in which he and Tranio (his servant) will switch clothes, and thus disguised, Lucentio will offer his services as a tutor for Bianca in order to get closer to her. At this point, enter Petruchio of Verona, in Padua to visit his friend Hortensio (another suitor to Bianca). Attracted by Katherina’s large dowry, Petruchio resolves to woo her.

To the surprise of everyone, Petruchio claims that he finds Katherina charming and pleasant. A marriage is arranged, and Petruchio immediately sets out to tame Katherina through a series of increasingly worse tricks. This involves everything from showing up late to his own wedding to constant contradictions of whatever she says. After many trying days and nights, an exhausted Katherina is indeed “tamed” into docility.

By the end of the play, Lucentio has won Bianca’s heart and Hortensio settles for a rich widow in Padua. During an evening feast for Bianca and Lucentio, Petruchio makes and wins a wager in which he proposes that he has the most obedient wife of all the men there, at which point Katherina gives Bianca a lecture on how to be a good and loving wife herself.

Reprinted from the Shakespeare Resource Center online at www.bardweb.net

Director's Note

What, exactly, is this thing we call “marriage”? In our current cultural climate there is much heated debate about who should be given the right to be married, but there is less cultural discourse about the nature and the dynamic of marriage itself. People are getting married all around us (we ourselves may also have tied the knot), and yet, how much do we really know about the couples we observe? The marriages we think are happy, or the ones we see as troubled? Do we really know what’s going on behind the closed doors of an intimate relationship? Even our own?

Some argue passionately that marriage should exist only between a man and a woman, and yet, what exactly IS a man or a woman? Beyond simple biology, what constitutes a man or a woman involves the adapting of and conforming to the expected gender roles of any given society. We are not born with an innate sense of these rules of behavior, we are taught them over time. Some cultures have elaborate rituals around the initiation of a child into the arena of manhood or womanhood. Gender identity is a learned behavior based on a culture’s expectations and beliefs about what that means.

Ideas about gender identity were very different in Shakespeare’s time than they are in our modern day world, and yet, part of Shakespeare’s brilliance is reflected through his penetrating insights into the nature of human beings and the ways that basic nature is expressed through the prism of gender. In The Taming of the Shrew, he has created two fascinating characters in Katharine and Petruchio, who are equally matched in intelligence, humor and vitality, and yet who are seemingly at odds throughout the play because of the cultural expectations of their gender. Throughout the play, we watch as Petruchio sets about “taming” Katharine by continually and to an ever more absurd degree, asserting his status as “the man of the house”. We watch as Katharine rages against Petruchio’s dominance of her and against the expectations society has thrust upon her as a member of the “fairer sex”. Then, in the final moments of the play, Kate delivers a highly controversial speech that, when taken at face value, appears to sublimate all of womankind under the foot of male supremacy.

What does this mean? Has Katharine really been tamed? Does she really mean the words she’s saying, or is it all a ruse at the expense of Petruchio and the other men?

The debate rages on. Still, at the heart of Shrew is that married couple, who are full of complexity and mystery. We will never know what really goes on between Petruchio and Kate in their private world, we only have Shakespeare’s keen humor and provocative observations to pique our imaginations and invite us to ponder not only what constitutes a marriage but also who we are, whether men or women, and who we choose to be in the world.

I’d like to dedicate my participation in this production to my fiancé, Michael John Hansen.

-Tracy Young, Director The Taming of the Shrew

Season Sponsors

Cuyahoga Arts and CultureThe Cleveland Foundation

COVID-19 Cancellation Information

Find out the latest information on cancelled performances and ticket resolution options here.

Ghost Light Cabaret!

Join us for our first virtual cabaret! See your favorite Great Lakes Theater artists sing Broadway showstoppers from the comfort of your own home!

A Statement from Great Lakes Theater

We stand in support of artists, educators, audiences, and community members of color and in solidarity with those who are committed to eradicating racism, hatred and bigotry in all of its forms....

Never miss a thing

Sign up to receive the latest Great Lakes Theater news and updates.

No, thanks.

share this page

 View Student Prep Guide

Photo Gallery

1 of 22