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Shakespeare performers display role dedication

Without the elaborate props and costumes of a highly funded performance, an actor must rely on pure talent to impress audiences. Onstage at the Rotary Amphitheater in Woodward Park, the performers ably managed this task.

At the third annual Woodward Park Shakespeare Festival, a troupe of college-age actors presented a hilarious adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. Armed with only color-coordinated attire and a rather flimsy stage, the actors chose to tackle the humor in the script.

The Taming of the Shrew follows Katherina (Vanessa Pereda), from the city Padua, who refuses to submit to any man’s will. Her sister, Bianca (Christine Andrews), urges her to marry, for without the marriage of Katherina, Bianca is doomed to a life of solitude.

Many men vie for Bianca’s hand, while only Pertruchio (Jay Felix), who enters the city of Padua and claims he will marry any woman, shrewish or not, agrees to marry Katherina. Although the wedding is quick, Pertruchio must still tame the “shrew”.

Meanwhile, Bianca becomes the center of attention for the many young men seeking her love. Each competitor is disguised as somebody else ? a hard-to-follow, yet amusing plotline ? and professes his undying love for the beautiful Bianca.

Director Daniel Moore introduced the play as an “athletic performance,” and any doubts among the audience vanished the moment Felix, as Pertruchio, introduced himself to the stage. Felix completely and unabashedly dedicated himself to his character, which gave the entire performance a lively feel. Paired with the convincing rage of Pereda, the two actors bounced off one another magnificently.

Though the main characters displayed enthusiasm on stage, a few overacted presentations and incorrect diction distracted from the overall show. A few of the actors were obviously more seasoned in the field; those less experienced either delivered their lines too rapidly or failed to project themselves on stage.

Several scenes, such as the conversation between Lucentio (Brandon Lindner) and his servant Tranio (Singleton Yost), as they devise a plan to make Bianca fall in love with Lucentio, felt rushed. This posed a problem for three characters, including Lucentio and Tranio, who later disguise as three completely different people while proclaiming their love for Bianca.

Despite a few imperfections, those involved in the festival provided audiences with a memorable night of culture. The play was well performed and charismatic, with green, yet promising talent who offered a taste of the unforgettable works of William Shakespeare.

The cast of The Taming of the Shrew will perform every Thurs.-Sat. through Sept. 15 at 8 P.M., with pre-shows from local entertainers, such as the Tanjora tribal bellydancers, beginning at 7:15 P.M.

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  • J

    Jordan BoudreauDec 12, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Now was it I who came and sat by my senior sister or was it her who came and sat by me?