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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: August ::
Shrew Production
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0491  Wednesday, 20 August 2008

[1] From:   Nicholas Clary <
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     Date:   Monday, 18 Aug 2008 11:39:16 -0400
     Subj:   RE: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

[2] From:   Matthew Henerson <
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     Date:   Monday, 18 Aug 2008 11:45:53 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

[3] From:   Richard Regan <
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     Date:   Monday, 18 Aug 2008 23:29:45 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

[4] From:   Jeffrey Myers <
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     Date:   Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 00:23:15 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

[5] From:   Richard Sherrington <
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     Date:   Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 10:26:17 -0300
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

[6] From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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     Date:   Wednesday, August 20, 2008
     Subj:   Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Nicholas Clary <
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Date:       Monday, 18 Aug 2008 11:39:16 -0400
Subject: 19.0481 Shrew Production
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

This sounds like the CBC version to me. It is available on DVD.

Nick Clary

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Matthew Henerson <
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Date:       Monday, 18 Aug 2008 11:45:53 -0700
Subject: 19.0481 Shrew Production
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

The only *Shrew *on tape that I know of with the induction intact is a 
Stratford, Ontario production from the late 80's starring Len Cariou and Shirley 
(?) Flett. The production was staged in the Festival theatre on the permanent 
thrust, so that sounds right too. Some of the Stratford material has made it 
onto DVD, although I have had trouble tracking much of it down in that format.

Matt Henerson

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Richard Regan <
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Date:       Monday, 18 Aug 2008 23:29:45 -0400
Subject: 19.0481 Shrew Production
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

Sounds like the Stratford Ontario production with Len Cariou. Available from 
third party sellers at Amazon:
The Shakespeare Collection: The Taming of the Shrew, Starring: Felix Alvarez 
(II), Lydia Lozano

This production has not only the Induction, but a final scene where Sly wakes 
up, as in The Taming of A Shrew.

Richard Regan
Fairfield University

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Jeffrey Myers <
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Date:       Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 00:23:15 -0400
Subject: 19.0481 Shrew Production
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

Larry Weiss wrote:

 >About two or three years ago, I saw a production of The Shrew on TV
 >(probably PBS) which I think was taped from a live theatrical performance.
 >As I recall, the performance was done on a thrust stage with the induction
 >characters aloft; and the entire Sly frame from "A Shrew" was included.
 >I could be wrong about this, but I am under the impression that the
 >troupe was a Midwest company.
 >
 >Can anyone help me track this down?"

This sounds like the Stratford, Ontario, production with Len Cariou as the best 
Petruchio I've ever seen. Unfortunately, it seems available only on a very poor 
videotape (available through Amazon).

Hardy might not be right about Shrew being impossible to stage in the 21st 
century, but it seems impossible for the Stratford, Ontario, company to stage it 
since this wonderful production. I thought their tobacco juice-spitting, 
Texas-accented production of a few years ago was the worst I would ever see. 
This year's depressingly melancholy and stupidly (as well as inconsistently) 
literalist production, however, complete with limping Kate and slit-nosed 
Tranio, was even worse. Oh, and Queen Elizabeth was walking around the stage and 
joining the action at points. Oh, and I almost forgot the ducking stool inserted 
into the Induction.

Fortunately for my family and me, it was the only really bad production of the 7 
we saw.

Jeff Myers

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Richard Sherrington <
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Date:       Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 10:26:17 -0300
Subject: 19.0481 Shrew Production
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

This may be the Stratford Canada production which was taped and released by CBC 
Canada and should be still available at www.cbc.ca . It was done as you describe 
and to my mind was quite well done. It was available for some time as a 
videotape and I believe was recently released on DVD. CBC Canada also has 
available on their web site a number of other Stratford productions: arguably 
the best Twelfth Night and As You Like It on film as well as a Comedy of Errors 
and several others.

Ease of navigation is not a strong point of the CBC's site. Here's the URL for 
the shopping area:

http://www.cbcshop.ca/CBC/shopping/home.aspx?CatalogName=CBCBase&lang=en-CA

Richard

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:       Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Subject: 19.0481 Shrew Production
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0481 Shrew Production

CBC-TV _The Taming of the Shrew_ (Production Copyright 1988) Stratford 
Collection, Dir. Richard Monette. Produced and directed for CBC-TV by Norman 
Campbell. With Colm Feore, Goldie Semple, Henry Czerny, Keith Dinicol, Scott 
Wentworth, Geraint Wyn Davies. A film of the Stratford (Ontario) Festival's 
stage production, the only filmed version to feature the Christopher Sly 
introduction and conclusion.

This DVD has been in my collection, but I have not viewed it yet (Come on, I 
have an amazingly large DVD collection in general and Shakespeare collection in 
particular -- comprising just about as many as I could find available at the 
time Poor Yorick was going out of business.). I will see if I can carve out a 
few hours to screen it soon.

I also have the 1976 The American Conservatory Theatre of San Francisco's 
commedia dell'arte production, directed by William Ball/Kirk Browning, with Marc 
Singer, Fredi Ostler, Sandra Shotwell, William Paterson that I have not seen yet 
either.

My statement about my belief in the impossibility of producing a _Shrew_ for the 
21st century was meant to be provocative and to encourage discussion as it did 
by some of what I wrote after I saw last year's production at the Shakespeare 
Theatre production in Washington, DC; at that time, in addition to the online 
discussion on SHAKSPER, I had interesting conversations, live and through e-mail 
with Alan Dessen and Don Weingust to name two who immediately come to mind.

As I wrote last year, I have been deeply influenced by Emily Detmer's essay 
"Civilizing Subordination: Domestic Violence and The Taming of the Shrew" (SQ 48 
(1997): 273-94): "If readers and teachers fail to take seriously the experience 
of Petruchio's abuse, and thus identify more strongly with him than with Kate, 
they risk complicity with an ideology that authorizes oppression as long as it 
is achieved without physical violence" 
<http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2007/0667.html>. The sentence I quoted last 
year and agin here accurately describes my feelings at the RSC production I saw 
a few weeks ago in Stratford.

I assume that the members of the audience at the Courtyard were supposed to be 
educated by the production to the fact that drunken hooliganism in search of sex 
is wrong. We are meant to come to this realization because at the end of the 
play Sly/Petruchio is denied achieving sexual gratification by raping the 
apparently shell-shocked Kate/Hostess. Perhaps the production was being staged 
for the benefit of all of the drunken hooligans who make it up to Stratford from 
London during one of their binge drinking weekends. Finding themselves at the 
Courtyard in Stratford on an evening when David Tennant and Patrick Stewart had 
not sold out the house, they pay their ticket and are enlightened that their 
looking-for-a-lay-while-on-the-town behavior is indeed sexist, and they are now 
redeemed. If this is the case, what about the rest of us? What about those of us 
who have already figured out that such behaviors as portrayed in the opening of 
the Induction to this production are, for lack of a better word, WRONG. What 
about us? Least I not forget, what about the women in the audience? What are all 
of us who were in the Courtyard and happened not to be drunk or looking to get 
fu*ked to think of this production?

I assume then that anyone who laughed at the "taming" is supposed by the end of 
this production to have learned a lesson about drunken, chauvinist behavior.

But I didn't laugh. I didn't feel throughout that I could participate in the 
psychological raping of the Kate character, even if what was being portrayed was 
intended as Sly's drunken dream. Because we were watching a sexist pig's dream 
were we then somehow or other given a dispensation from the "reality" of what 
was being enacted before us so that the point that the antics of drunken 
hooligan/Sly/Petruchio was wrong could be made.

The production just did not work for me. After reading Emily Detmer's essay, I 
have found myself unable to be complicit in the violence done against the Kate 
character, whether or not what was being portrayed was indeed the way one 
trained one's hawk or not. (And, by the way, except for my dogs, my dearest 
companion now is my alpha-parrot, Berowne, an umbrella cockatoo of considerably 
larger than average size, a bird I trained and established dominance over by 
standing on a chair and lording it over him when he was displaying behaviors 
indicating that he thought that he was the leader of the flock. My chair and I 
showed him. Yes, this is the way to tame an alpha parrot.)

Hardy

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_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions 
expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no 
responsibility for them.
 

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