Taming of the Shrew by UAA

Taming of the Shrew
I chose to watch and write the review on Taming of the Shrew performed by the University of Alaska-Anchorage Department of Theatre and Dance from 2011. I was interested in watching an amateur performance, primarily from a college, because it is personally difficult for me to understand Shakespearean language. I have only watched movies of the performances done, and so I thought a college-level performance would help me relate more easily and understand the context of the play better. Students of all levels were a part of the performance. This was honestly my favorite performance out of any of the performances I watched this semester, because the students really added a sense of humor to the play that I have not experienced before. While I felt they still got the correct plot across, the play was set in a more recent time, which I really enjoyed. The characters were a little too dramatic sometimes, especially the character of Kate. Once I accepted the constant screaming and running around, I enjoyed her character more, especially once her and Petruchio meet. This performance described their relationship in an extremely humorous way, which is very different from how I had imagined it after reading the play for the first time. I was very interested in how they interacted with each other in this version of the play, because it was acted out a lot more violent than the play read. They were rolling on the ground basically wrestling the first time they met. As for the rest of the characters, I had a very hard time telling who was supposed to be playing who. I felt like the cast did not do a very good job of letting the audience know exactly what was going on; if I had not seen and read the play beforehand, I would have only been able to figure out a few characters at most. The set was very well-decorated. They had “buildings,” and some even had actual second stories that could be walked on, which I was impressed with. The sincerity of the characters’ acting was very believable, especially for college-level. I had no problem believing the characters were who they played to be, which is very important for a performance. All of the characters did an excellent job on pronunciation of words, and changing the volume of their voice so it was never monotone. They all talked in very northern accents which was also hard to get past, but it was so well-performed I believe I could have only listened to the audio and been just as engaged. This was the most successful part of this performance to me, because it is what I struggle with most when trying to act. The cast had so much energy on stage, so I am glad I was able to watch it while listening too. This performance was not a traditional performance of Taming of the Shrew, but I recommend watching it if you have not seen it already.

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