shrew_squareWilliam Shakespeare’s epic battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew previews at Theater at Monmouth on Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. In Shrew, Shakespeare explores the institution of marriage, the rifts between men and women, and the rough and tumble journey toward enduring love. The play bursts with disguise, deception, and devilment as well as the taming of not one but two shrewish lovers fighting to maintain control and independence.

Former TAM artistic director and audience favorite, Sally Wood returns for the first time since 2007 to direct one of her favorite of Shakespeare plays. Wood acknowledges that many people have strong visceral reactions to this story, which makes it both a delight and a terror to explore. “So many love stories are easy; this one is not,” notes Wood, adding that she hopes by the end, “audiences see how complicated love can be, but that the payoff makes it all worthwhile.”

The stage is set in Padua, Italy in the late 1900s. Fortune-seeking Petruchio swaggers into town looking to to marry money when he learns of the fiery tongued Katharina. Some call her plain Kate, sometimes Kate the Cursed, but Petruchio has a cunning plan to tame her for his wife. She has other ideas, most of them violent, and none involving marriage. Meanwhile, little sister Bianca, the apple of her father’s eye, inflames the considerable passion of every eligible man in town and attracts would-be husbands everywhere she looks. But daddy won’t let that happen until big sister Kate gets a husband of her own. Through bickering and brawling, Kate and Petruchio’s comic courtship is a no-holds-barred battle of wills that results in a love and understanding that neither one imagined.

The Taming of the Shrew features Ambien Mitchell as Katharina; Josh Carpenter as Petruchio; Aislinn Kerchaert as Bianca; Luke Couzens as Lucentio; Mike Anthony as Grumio; Alexander Harvey as Tranio; James Noel Hoban as Hortensio; Bill Van Horn as Gremio; Mark S. Cartier as Baptista; Frank Omar as Vincentio; and Max Waszak as Biondello. Set design by Dan Bilodeau, costume design by Kathleen Brown, sound design by Rew Tippin, and light design by Lynne Chase.

Performance Calendar: PREVIEW 7/11 at 7:30 p.m.; OPENING 7/12 at 7:30 p.m.; additional performance dates 7/12, 7/13, 7/17, 8/2, 8/6, 8/10, and 8/14 at 7:30 p.m.; 7/28, 8/3, 8/7, and 8/18 at 1:00 p.m.; 7/21 at 7:00 p.m. with a post-show talkback. Ticket prices range from $10-$30. For calendar and reservations, please contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit

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