Southwest Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in Mesa Is Both Silly and Complex

The setup: In my old, crumbly Folger Library The Taming of the Shrew that I grabbed for a quarter to get through school, there's an introductory essay about how William Shakespeare never meant to suggest that enhanced coercive techniques such as food and sleep deprivation, manufactured cognitive dissonance, and the type of bargaining one might engage in with a toddler ("Well, since you've chosen to be ornery, I guess we aren't going anywhere") are a therapeutic way to approach an adult who's relationship-phobic to the point of physical aggression and screaming (BTW, that's a "shrew")-- let alone someone you love and wish to marry.

The main plot of Shrew makes little sense (nobody changes that much in just a few days). In addition, though, the editors advance the idea that while the action does, on its face, rankle some people of polite sensibilities, it was intended to be a farcical comedy, not a play about regular people.

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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson