Freed-Hardeman University will close the 2010-2011 theatre season April 21-23 with The Taming of the Shrew and The Woman’s Prize. The play is an adaptation by Scott Palmer of the Bag & Baggage Theatre Company in Hillsboro, Ore., that combines William Shakespeare’s well known The Taming of the Shrew with a sequel written by Shakespeare’s contemporary John Fletcher. FHU graduate and guest artist Andrea Kelley will direct the play.
The Taming of the Shrew follows a charismatic yet money-grubbing suitor as he courts the town terror, Katherina. After their unusual courtship and wedding, they are found to have a better relationship than her conniving sister and dippy suitors. Its sequel, The Woman’s Prize, is a spoof in which the antihero of the first play is duped into being tamed by his second wife. Kelley described the play as “a battle of the sexes with 400 year old words.”
Kelley graduated from FHU in December 2001. Following graduation, she taught theatre for middle school and high school students in Texas and Alabama. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va., and finishing her master’s thesis on different versions of The Taming of the Shrew.
While The Taming of the Shrew has been performed and adapted many times since first written, The Woman’s Prize has been performed no more than ten times in the last 400 years, making this production groundbreaking for FHU and West Tennessee. In addition to those expectations, Kelley is thrilled to share her passion for Shakespearean literature with a new audience. “To have the audience of FHU learn that they can not only understand Shakespeare but like it as well is very exciting. I want everyone to see that while these were written 400 years ago, people you know can perform them,” she said.
The Taming of the Shrew and The Woman’s Prize will be presented April 21-23 at 7 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. Seating will be extremely limited, so seats should be reserved. Tickets are $7 for general admission and $1 for FHU students. To purchase tickets, visit FHUTickets.com or contact the theatre office at 731-989-6938.