Laredo Theatre Guild International Bows ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ March 25-28 at TAMIU
Posted: 03/11/2010

Laredo Theatre Guild International Bows
‘The Taming of the Shrew’ March 25-28 at TAMIU

Laredo Theater Guild International (LTGI), will present The Taming of the Shrew, a comedy by William Shakespeare March 25-28 at Texas A&M International University’s recently completed 500-seat Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Theatre.

LTGI’s The Taming of the Shrew, to be directed by John Maxstadt and produced by Joe Arciniega, will be performed Thursday, March 25 through Saturday, March 27 at 7:30 PM, and on Sunday, March 28, at 3 PM.
It is being presented in cooperation with TAMIU's College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Language and Literature, with plans for corresponding lectures and classroom presentations at TAMIU during the weeks leading to the play’s opening.

Tickets for The Taming of the Shrew will be $15.00 general admission and $10.00 discounted admission for seniors and students with valid I.D., and are available for advance purchase at Foster's, 1605 E. Del Mar Boulevard, and at the TAMIU Bookstore beginning March 12. Tickets will be available on site at the box office before show times. For more information, call 956.319.8610 or visit www.laredotheaterguild.com

Producer Joe Arciniega said the production is a welcome challenge.

"Shakespeare is a very exciting challenge for us all," said Arciniega, "and it is totally consistent with the depth, variety, and daring of what LTGI wants to present to this community. I am particularly excited for the exposure that we are giving the young people from middle school through university who join our local theater veterans in this cast. We are hopeful that their participation will encourage other youths to come see their friends, and in doing so, themselves get a chance to hear these beautiful words spoken in live theater as originally intended."

Director John Maxstadt said the initiative represents a long-cherished personal goal.

“I have wanted to direct the play complete and uncut, including the Induction, for many years, and I lobbied LTGI very aggressively to allow me to include it, even though it meant more actors, which means more costumes, props, rehearsal, etc. The Induction introduces some of the themes of the play (battle of the sexes, how a change of circumstance can change how a person sees himself) and serves as an admonition to the audience not to take the play too seriously as a how-to manual for love and marriage.”

This production unites two of Laredo's most exciting young leading ladies in the same play, TAMIU students Lexie De Anda and Casandra Canales. De Anda, who plays the "shrew" of this story, Katherina Minola, was recently featured as Aldonza/Dulcinea in LTGI's Man of La Mancha last October, enchanting audiences to standing ovations at every performance.

Canales, playing the lovely Bianca Minola, most recently directed TAMIU Theatre Troupe's Dog Sees God, but it was her summer 2009 star turn as Sally Bowles in LITE Productions' Cabaret that thrilled Laredo audiences.

Playing their suitors and eventual husbands Petruchio and Lucentio are Richard Resendez and Oliver Saenz, respectively. The rest of the cast is rounded out with a mix of Laredo acting veterans and students, from middle school through University.

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s early comedies, a merry knockabout farce about love and marriage. It’s the story of wealthy merchant Baptista Minola’s two daughters, Katherine and Bianca, and how they were wooed, won and wed. In addition to many staged productions, The Taming of the Shrew has been presented in the movies starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960's, and was adapted for the 1999 romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, starring the late Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.

The Italian romantic farce was as formulaic and well-established by Shakespeare’s day as the sitcom or the buddy movie nowadays. But, like the taming story, Shakespeare treats his source materials subversively. To prevent the story from being taken seriously as advice on romance and marriage, Shakespeare added a framing device, which is often left out of productions of the play.

In the "Induction," Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker, is kicked out of an alehouse and falls asleep in the road. A passing nobleman decides to play a practical joke on him, and has him taken to his castle, dressed in finery, and convinced that he is actually a nobleman himself who has hallucinated his life as a beggarly tinker. As an amusement for "his lordship," players are brought in, and the play they perform is The Taming of the Shrew. By the end, Sly has fallen asleep again, and the nobleman’s servants put him back in the road, where he wakes up from his wonderful "dream" and resolves to go home and tame his own shrewish wife.

The LTGI opened its 2009-2010 Season with a Gala Premiere inaugurating TAMIU’s new CFPA Theatre last October with the musical Man of La Mancha to standing ovations during its entire run. That was followed that with a sold-out production in January of the controversial drama, Doubt.

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