The Taming of the Shrew

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop- Making a difference in the lives of students!

Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop is a vibrant, interactive presentation that demonstrates how modern hip-hop shares many similarities with the themes, language and rhythm used by Shakespeare. Both are full of poetry, word play and lyricism, and both deal with what it is to be human.

Students at Central Toronto Academy were inspired by the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop performance, and found a way to combine Shakespeare and rap for their final Drama class project! Find out what they had to say about the show, and watch them rehearse!

The Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop tour will be back for the 2015/16 season! Visit our website or send an e-mail to info@shakespeareinaction.org for more info!

CONTEST- Win tickets to a Toronto screening of The Taming of the Shrew!

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As part of the Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen series, our friends at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema have generously given us 4 pairs of tickets to an upcoming screening of The Taming of the Shrew, and they could be yours!

To win tickets to the 12:00PM screening on Saturday, January 24th at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto, all you need to do is fill out the form below!

*THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING!

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Contest is open to all residents of Ontario, and will close at 11:59 on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by phone or e-mail.

Thank you again to our friends at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema and Shakespeare’s Globe for making this contest possible, and good luck to everyone who enters!

SIA Poll- Which Shakespeare character would you want to be your Valentine?

Shakespeare is known for creating some of the most famous (yet sometimes, tragic) lovers in literature. Would you want any of them to be your Valentine? Take the poll!

Give your real Valentine a unique gift this Valentine’s Day- Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids! They are selling fast, so be sure to get yours now!

SIA is also celebrating Valentine’s Day with our friends at DFilms with a Romeo and Juliet DVD and Blu-Ray Giveaway!

Shakespeare Relationship Stats- Kate and Petruchio

What better way to kick off the week leading up to Valentine’s Day than with a look at the love stats of one of Shakespeare’s most famous couples- Kate and Petruchio from The Taming of the Shrew!

Occupation
Petruchio: Gold-digger
Kate: Shrew

Family status
Petruchio: Recently orphaned
Kate: Elder daughter, Daddy’s second favourite

Reputation
Petruchio: “Why, he’s a devil, a devil, a very fiend.” (Gremio’s opinion, 3.2.154)
Kate: “Why, she’s a devil, a devil, the devil’s dam” (Tranio’s opinion, 3.2.155)

What they wanted from this relationship
Petruchio:
“I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily then happily in Padua.” (1.2.74-75)

“…we have ‘greed so well together
That upon Sunday is the wedding day” (2.1.190-191

Kate: “I’ll see thee hanged on Sunday first” (2.1.192)

How they met
It was quite a rocky start for these two. Both Katherine and Petruchio have…strong opinions, which get them into explosive situations. But on the upside, their first conversation is also their first fight (2.1.182-271), so that’s one relationship hurdle over and done with!

Top 3 bumps on the way to true love
1. The day they meet
There is friction in their relationship right from the beginning. Petruchio is in it for the money, while Kate isn’t in it for anything. In fact, she’d much prefer that it didn’t happen at all. She puts up a good fight, but as we are in the Elizabethan era, and she is the daughter of a wealthy gentleman with a reputation to protect, it’s her word against Petruchio’s. And he has no problem bending the truth to Kate’s father, Old Baptista:

“O, the kindest Kate!
She hung about my neck, and kiss on kiss
She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,
That in a twink she won me her love.” (2.1.300-303)

2. The wedding
For a wedding that was thrown together by the bride’s family in the space of a week, very little of the drama is on Kate’s end. Petruchio shows up late, dressed in raggedy mismatched clothes, swears through the ceremony, assaults the priest, knocks back a bottle of wine and spews it in his guests’ faces. Not exactly anyone’s idea of a fairytale wedding.

3. The “honeymoon”
In true Petruchio fashion, he abuses his servants, sends away perfectly good food, spends all night making their bed and loudly complaining, “and amid this hurly [he intends] / That all is done in reverent care of her” (4.1.189-190).

Happily ever after
At the point when Petruchio tries to convince Kate that the burning midday day sun is, in fact, the moon, she finally give sin and accepts the fact that she has married a madman. Petruchio’s prediction at the beginning of the play that “where two raging fires meet together, / They do consume the thing that feeds their fury” (2.1.132-33) has finally come true, and these two raging fires live madly ever after.

Will it last?
Who better to set the devil up with than the devil’s dam? The (hell)fire of love between Kate and Petruchio is an eternal flame.

What If Modern Authors Redid Shakespeare?

In June of 2013, Random House imprint Hogarth Press announced that they are commissioning a slate of authors to novelize the complete works of Shakespeare for a modern audience. The launch of these books in 2016 will coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

The roster of illustrious authors who have signed on to modernize Shakespeare’s plays includes Margaret Atwood (The Tempest), Jeannette Winterson (The Winter’s Tale), Anne Tyler (The Taming of the Shrew), Howard Jacobson (The Merchant of Venice), and Jo Nesbo (Macbeth).

With the 400th anniversary only two years away, and 32 plays left unclaimed, Hogarth is running out of time to get these books written, so we thought we’d help them out with suggestions of author and play pairings we’d like to see. We had trouble limiting our imaginations to living authors only though!

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J.R.R. Tolkein + Hamlet: Hamlet, Shakespeare’s longest work, is a four hour play about a prince who decides in Act 1 to avenge his father’s death, and after five acts and 3834 lines of flip-flopping, he eventually gets around to it. Who better to take on the dithering Dane than the man who wrote the three-part story of a skittish hobbit who takes 1300 pages to accomplish one task?

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Stephenie Meyer + Romeo and Juliet: Despite its reputation as the greatest love story ever told, let’s face it, once Mercutio dies, Romeo and Juliet is a total snooze-fest. In order to appeal to today’s main audience for epic love stories (i.e. tweens), R&J could use an injection of vampire vs. werewolf warfare to pump up the drama. “O Romeo, Romeo, a werewolf art thou, Romeo?”

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George R.R. Martin + Titus Andronicus: Shakespeare, who was never one to shy away from bloodshed and violence, has a literary soul mate in the bloodthirsty author of the Game of Thrones series. I get chills just imagining what gruesome twists Martin would add to a story already brimming with beheadings, tongue removals, and characters getting baked into pies.

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Dr. Seuss + Timon of Athens: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens is essentially the plot of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas told in reverse. In this lesser known play, Timon, a wealthy Athenian, blithely bestows his riches on his flaky artist friends, and anyone else who asks. But when his money runs out and his friends abandon him, he renounces human society and runs off to the forest to live in a cave. He spends the rest of his days hating everyone and spouting abuse at anyone who dares to visit.

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Jasper Fforde + The Tempest: I know Hogarth already has an author for The Tempest, but we couldn’t resist fantasizing about what kinds of transgressions Fforde’s literary detective Thursday Next would call out the characters on Prospero’s island for.

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Oscars 2014

The nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards are in, and I must say, there is some fierce competition for a statue this year!
Until the awards are actually given out on March 2, we can only speculate on the internet and join the office pool, guessing who will walk away a winner. In the meantime, we can dive into the nominees past works, and learn about the interesting and brilliant choices that this group of actors have made throughout their careers.

Seeing as we are a Shakespeare related theatre company, I have sifted though the careers of the nominees and compiled a list of some of the Shakespeare related works that they have been a part of over the years! Enjoy!

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Christian Bale (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

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Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (1997 theatre production) as Malcom
  • Romeo and Juliet (2000 theatre production) as Romeo
  • Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2003 TV movie) as Orsino
  • Othello (2007 theatre production) as Othello

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Leonardo DiCaprio (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

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Amy Adams (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Into the Woods (2012 Shakespeare in the Park Production) as Baker’s Wife

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Cate Blanchett (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Richard II (2009 Sydney Festival) as Richard II


*Fun Fact- This role was part of a show called The War of the Roses, which condensed all of Shakespeare’s historical plays into one 8 hour performance!

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Judi Dench (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:


*Fun Fact- Judi Dench also performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company for many years.

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Meryl Streep (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (1978 Shakespeare in the Park Production)  as Katherine
  • Romeo and Juliet (2012 Shakespeare in the Park Staged Reading) as Juliet

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Michael Fassbender (Best Supporting Actor Nominee)

Appearing in:

  • Macbeth (Currently in Pre-production) as Macbeth

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Sally Hawkins (Best Supporting Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (2000 theatre production)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2000 theatre production)

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Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • The Winter’s Tale (Yale School of Drama Production)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Yale School of Drama Production)

Have you seen any of these movies or performances? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER? (January Edition)

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 7-13th

MONDAY:  Hideous winter… / Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone / Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where (1). When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks (2).  High 0.

TUESDAY:  The blushing discontented sun / …perceives the envious clouds are bent / To dim his glory (3).  The more fair and crystal is the sky / The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly (4).  High 2.

WEDNESDAY:  Adding to clouds more clouds (5).  The winds grow high (6), the winds and persecutions of the sky (7).  High 5.

THURSDAY:   The sun breaks through the darkest clouds (8). To the brightest beams / Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth / The time is fair again! (9)  High 5.

FRIDAY:  A hot January (10) – This goodly summer with your winter mix’d (11).  The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries (12). High 9.

THE WEEKEND – SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Our day is gone; / Clouds, dews, and dangers come (13), cloud of winter showers (14), winter’s drizzled snow (15).  High 4 and 2.

1)  Sonnet 5

2)  Richard III, 2.3

3)  Richard II, 3.3

4)  Richard II, 1.1

5)  Romeo & Juliet, 1.1

6)  Henry VI, Part II; 2.1

7)  King Lear, 2.3

8)  Taming of the Shrew, 4.3

9)  All’s Well That Ends Well, 5.3

10)  Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1

11)  Titus Andronicus, 5.2

12)  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1

13)  Julius Caesar, 5.3

14)  Timon of Athens, 2.2

15)  Comedy of Errors, 5.1

Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni