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Stone Soup Shakespeare puts Western spin on 'Shrew'

  • Taming of the Shrew poster.

    Taming of the Shrew poster.
    Courtesy of Stone Soup Shakespeare

  • Cast members of "The Taming of the Shrew" for the reimagined version of the Shakespeare classic.

    Cast members of "The Taming of the Shrew" for the reimagined version of the Shakespeare classic.
    Courtesy of Stone Soup Shakespeare

 
By Travis DeNeal tdeneal@dailyregister.com
updated: 5/8/2018 10:56 AM

HARRISBURG -- A popular Shakespeare touring troupe will give a Western air to the classic play, "The Taming of the Shrew" when it performs on May 14 at Harrisburg District Library.

Stone Soup Shakespeare, which tours throughout the Midwest, has visited the Harrisburg library for the last four years. This year, the group will tell the story of Katherina and her sister Bianca. In the play, Bianca is wooed by many suitors, but they must find a husband for her willful, clever and perpetually single older sister Katherina before any of them can have Bianca's hand.

Set against the backdrop of the Wild West this all new re-imagining of Shakespeare's zany and controversial classic battle of the sexes explores the lengths people will go to for love as well as money.

The play is directed by Eric Mercado and includes performances by Ross Frawley, Nicole Goeden, Samie Johnson, Mark Maxwell, Mel McCray and Julia Stemper.

"I'm thrilled to be returning for another tour," Mercado said. "I'm so excited for us as a company to engage with this 'problem play' because there is a real opportunity for us to offer a fresh perspective on Shakespeare's text. Despite its troubling moments, 'Taming' is outrageously funny and has so many zany and wonderful moments. We are tackling the challenges of the play head on, and I think our audiences will be eager to see how we handle the play's infamous ending.

"No spoilers, but we definitely have some surprises planned. And who doesn't love a good square dance?"

There will be some interaction with the audience, and some may be invited to join the performance.

The Shakespeare troupe takes its name from the children's story "Stone Soup," and in keeping with the theme of that story, audience members are asked to bring nonperishable foods to donate. All food donations will be distributed to area food banks.

The free performance is 6 to 7:30 p.m. outside at the library. Viewers are advised to bring a picnic and a blanket or lawn chair. Seating is not provided.

In case of rain, the show will move to the First Presbyterian Church Annex nearby.

For the current full tour schedule visit www.stonesoupshakespeare.com/tour-2018-tour-schedule.html.

The 2018 Stone Soup Shakespeare Tour is partially supported a grant from the Carbondale Community Arts/Southern Arts Fund and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.