Never Fear, Shakespeare Is Here With A Turn of the Shrew

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Justin A.P. Jones and John Harvey
Once upon a time, we were in a high school English class, staring off into space or sleeping during those obligatory Shakespeare lectures. This dead guy has been popular through hundreds of years of English literature, but thou aren't as witty as he. Lucky for us, Collin College is presenting Shakespeare with a twist.

A Turn of the Shrew is a take on Shakespeare's famous play, The Taming of the Shrew. A Turn of the Shrew is the college's 10th annual summer production. The show premieres at 8 p.m. tomorrow and runs through July 3.

If you haven't read the Shakespeare classic, we'll catch you up with our thoroughly modern analysis of the play. The story focuses on two sisters; the older one, Katherine, is stubborn and can't land a guy while the younger one, Bianca, has all the boys swooning over her. The problem? Dad won't let Bianca get married until he can find someone to take Katherine off his hands. Classic problem for fathers back in the day. Cue Petruchio. He's competitive, cocky and enjoys a good challenge, like trying to marry Katherine. Basically, he's your typical asshole.

After he marries Katherine, Petruchio tries everything in his power to "tame" and force his wife into obeying him. Doesn't work at first, but eventually Katherine becomes the obedient wife and everyone lives happily ever after. Damn, it must have really sucked to be a woman in the 16th century.

This version of the play stays true to plot, characters and setting, but here's the kicker-- a '50s twist.

This update comes from Joanne Zipay, Artistic Director and founder of Judith Shakespeare in New York and a visiting professor this summer at Collin College. Zipay chose the time period because it seemed more relatable to the audience. Plus, when it comes to societal expectations of women, America in the 1950s closely resembles England in the 1500s. Just with more poodle skirts.

As you know, back in Shakespeare's time, men would play both female and male roles. This time around, women are drawing on the mustaches. The male characters are all played by women because, as Zipay said, "We have so many talented actresses who can really bring something special to the show."

"It's full of fun and fantastical characters, and it's perfect for a tenth anniversary celebration of successful and ongoing Shakespeare repertory program," said Zipay, "It's going to be a blast."

For ticket information, call 972-881-5809 or visit collin.edu.


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