The American Conservatory Theatre’s 1976 production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew remains my favorite version of this funny play. I played Bianca years ago, and while ours was a respectable production, William Ball’s version is, for me, nothing short of perfection. The commedia dell’arte conceit is ideally suited to the play, and it’s just rollicking fun from start to finish.
If you’re afraid of Shakespeare, don’t worry! This is a very accessible version, and solid evidence of why Shakespeare needs to be seen, not read. (I just got a link on Facebook telling me the Duchess of Cornwall is trying to make this same point, thank you very much!)
I watched the play again recently when reading a link on actors’ interpretations for an upcoming post, and I realized this video is a great way of giving us common ground to talk about some issues, as well as demonstrating some things I want to talk about. So I will be referring to this production at various points to help illuminate what I’m trying to say.
The PBS videotaping plays out over 12 Youtube videos, which I believe this first one will link you to as you go along. I’ve also included them in the links in the righthand column, for easy future reference.
Enjoy! (For those who want to go directly to Kate & Petruchio’s meeting, which is out of this world, go to Part 5 using the link in the righthand column!)