Theatre at TWU travels to 1950's Italy for The Taming of the Shrew

“Traditionally, this play focuses on gender conflict and many people see the “taming” of Kate as anti-feminist” says director Aaron Caleb. “Our production really messes with the usual gender stereotyping because I think the story is ultimately about people connecting. The personalities are what give the play its spark and its humour.”

Caleb has blurred the gender distinctions to rework the script for his mostly female cast. This production has: female characters that were originally male, females playing males who disguise themselves as females, females who play both male and female roles, and males portraying male characters who masquerade as females. Confused yet? That's all right, since Caleb believes the play is all about confusion and connection.

Fast-paced, fun and full of physical comedy, The Taming of the Shrew features stunning 1950s fashions by award-winning costume designer Nicole Bach. The range of styles in that decade provided ample opportunity for Bach to create a distinctive look for each character that displays her obvious love for the period.

The Taming of the Shrew features Jackie Faulkner as Katherina, John Voth as Petruchio, Rebecca Branscom as Bianca, Thomas Gage as Lucentio and Laura Van Dyke as Grumio. Completing the cast are Daniel Cloake, Jenni Fischer, Amanda Hart, Matthew Nauta, Holly Pillsbury, Laura Taylor, and Robert Steinkamp. The design team is Nicole Bach (costumes), Lora-Lynne Frewing, (lighting) and Aaron Caleb, who furthered his directorial vision by designing a sun-drenched Italian piazza for the set. The Stage Manager is Victoria Thompson, assisted by Carrie Waterton and Erin Mahoney.

The Taming of the Shrew plays at TWU's Langley campus, Wednesdays – Saturdays, March 21 -31. Evening performances are at 8 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or through the Theatre at TWU website at For more information, contact

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum