Shakespeare’s “Shrew” Entertains and Educates Students

Photo credit Utah Shakespeare Festival

Photo credit Utah Shakespeare Festival

By Christina Quattrone

Actors performing William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” captivated audiences at College of Southern Nevada’s Nicholas J. Horn Theatre in early February.

Utah Shakespeare Festival puts on a Shakespeare-in-the-Schools Tour performed the epic play with skill. The actors held various workshops for young students including stage combat and improvisation after the show. The educational-outreach program was meant to expose children to great literary works while encouraging their creativity in the arts.

Amie Blumenthal, who teaches at Helen Marie Smith Elementary School, said, “Most of the kids are from middle-to-low income schools and have never seen theater, let alone Shakespeare. It’s an amazing experience.”

“The after-play workshop is really cool and fun,” said Suzan Reed, a home-school teacher to her sons Ben and Aaron who participated in the workshops.

The day required genuine collaborative effort by the cast on many fronts.

“I’ve never had to crew my own show,” said Malloree Hill, a seasoned actress who plays sassy female-lead Katherine. “It’s really made the play much more personal to us because we take care of the set, we take care of our costumes and we take care of each other.”

Hill explains that the actors run front and back of house. They run the lights, fix props, assemble the stage, mend costumes and help each other with everything throughout the production, which plays throughout the United States. The group is on the road from January through April performing five-to-nine shows a week.

“We wake up very early, be at the vans by 6 in the morning and drive to our venue,” said Tom Littman, who plays the male-lead Petruchio. “We unload the whole thing… and then hopefully get a half hour to prep ourselves to get in costume, make-up and hair.”

“After the show is done, all of us take apart the set,” said Tony Carter, who plays Lucentio. “The actors don’t just hang out and wait for someone else to do it.”

Ray Seams, who plays Hortensio, said the group works together well as an ensemble. “There is not just one person that commands the spotlight,” he said. Instead, the actors work together. “It’s become very much like a family.”

From left to right: Dallin Mills, Kaitlin Mills, Malloree Hill, Tom Littman, Tony Carter and Ray Seams

From left to right: Dallin Mills, Kaitlin Mills, Malloree Hill, Tom Littman, Tony Carter and Ray Seams

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