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UAlbany Performs Shakespeare Classic, “The Taming of the Shrew”

By Kathryn Taleporos | April 1, 2024 

Reporting by Rachel Wolk

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The University at Albany’s theater department presented “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Performing Arts Center, performing six shows from March 6-10. 

“The Taming of the Shrew” was one of William Shakespeare’s first plays; it premiered somewhere between 1590 and 1592. The play is a story within a story, framed by a drunken man, Christopher Sly. The main plot describes the relationship of Petruchio and Katherine, and how he “tames” his shrew. 

The play is controversial; many critics have pointed to its themes of misogyny present in the relationship of Petruchio and Katherine. However, many others have argued that, while written centuries ago, the play tells a story that is still relevant. 

UAlbany’s production of the show was directed by visiting professor, Ryan Garbayo. Garbyo’s direction of the show explores new avenues of this centuries old play. 

“I wanted to do something Shakespeare, and it's a very interesting story, the company of actors is for the most part female, and I wanted to tell something that utilizes their skill,” Garbyo said. 

The cast takes a unique perspective on this plot, as they flip gender roles by having a mostly female cast in stereotypically male roles. This gender reversal provides a new take on a play written in the 1500s, and helps to establish the timelessness of the show. 

“My hope is that by watching these very funny but low-brow comedic characters — played mostly by women — the audience will ask themselves if they should be laughing, or if these jokes are even funny to begin with,” Garbayo said in a statement on the Performing Arts Center website.

The show itself takes a modern spin, including the incorporation of songs such as “Take Me to Church,” by Hozier, and “Yeah!” by Usher. 

ASP reporter Rachel Wolk said that the inclusion of these songs enhanced the play and that despite its complicated language, the plot was easy to follow. 

The Department of Music and Theater has several upcoming concerts and performances at the Performing Arts Center for both students and the general public. You can find information about those performances on their website


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