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Short Shakespeare!

The Taming
of the Shrew

March 24, 2012

in CST's Courtyard Theater

by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Rachel Rockwell

Critical Acclaim


“A streamlined show that aims to be both accessible for younger audiences yet true to the spirit of the original. The increasingly popular director Rachel Rockwell takes on the story with a light, but pointed, touch and delivers a production studded with consistent laughter. The supporting cast is stellar from top to bottom. Very little is lost in translation in Rockwell's "Shrew."”


      The Taming of the Shrew is great fun for all ages. The Short Shakespeare! series offers the perfect opportunity to introduce a young person to a live performance of Shakespeare. In this production, even the youngest members of the audience have no difficulty following the plot, because the actors are superb in using their bodies, facial expressions, and props as tools in conveying meaning to the audience. This is a lively, very funny, and highly entertaining presentation of The Taming of the Shrew. Every member of the cast is outstanding in his or her role, from the lowliest servant to the main characters.”

“For this production, the Elizabethan-era language and dress is combined with original rock-inspired music, composed by Kevin O'Donnell, to help the younger members of the audience connect with the characters' journeys and to understand that, in spite of the differences in language and clothing between that era and our own, there is no basic change in the nature of relationships or how people interact with each other. An energetic and fun production that is highly recommended for everyone, regardless of age.”


“Shrewd "Taming of the Shrew." Here's the amazing thing about Shakespeare performed live: No matter how difficult the text, once the actors are on stage bringing the story to life, the plot and language are easy to follow and embrace. The audience laughed throughout the play, and the 75-minute production moved quickly. This play is funny enough to engage middle school students, but has a sophisticated wit that high school and older kids will love. If your child thinks Shakespeare is "boring," take him or her to see "Shrew!"”


    Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew is a frolicking, timeless romantic comedy for today's modern world. Rockwell masterfully condenses Shakespeare's comedy, staying true to the context but honing in on the love. It's sexy and playful, a winning combination. The ensemble is sublime and the audience appreciated it. The entire cast is on their game. Rockwell doesn't domesticate this shrew. She crushes it! Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew is outstanding. I loved every seventy-five minutes of it—a must see for young and old alike!”


    Highly Recommended! One of the things that makes the Chicago Shakespeare Theater so special is their children's programs. Each year, we are treated to a version of a Shakespeare classic, brought down to 75 minutes and customized to allow young people to see something special, in a way that allows them to see and understand the works of the Bard. This year, they have chosen "The Taming of The Shrew" as adapted by Director Rachel Rockwell, who continues to impress me with her view to bringing young audiences into the world of "live theater." With directors like Rockwell showing them the way, it becomes easy. This is true Shakespeare with lots of laughter for the audience. 75 minutes of pure fun for a Saturday morning!”


    Chicago Shakespeare Theater continues to blast through their powerful 25th anniversary season with another illuminating adaptation from their renowned Short Shakespeare! series. Rachel Rockwell's beautiful adaptation is a treat for all ages, holding the strongest points of the script without leaving out too much information. "The Taming of the Shrew" is incredibly relatable to high school students and CST's latest managed to hold every knowledge-thirsty student to the stage from start to finish.”

“From the first moment of walking through the theater doors you can immediately feel how CST has constructed every aspect of the production to cater to the needs of the city's youth. And for that I will give a four star rating to every production. But Short Shakespeare! does not only entertain the youth, but also Shakespeare lovers of all ages. There's no reason to not enjoy CST's latest incredible adaptation. It has a top-notch ensemble and an overall fun atmosphere. What's not to love? ”


     "Shrew" is a crazy, fun-filled play that's tailor-made for youngsters on the verge of adulthood. CST's "The Taming of the Shrew" is a production created for young audiences and played by a youthful cast bubbling over with energy and understanding and charm. But what really kept the smile plastered on my face was the laughter in the house, the quick uptake by a predominantly teen audience that had no trouble at all connecting with this spunky side of the Bard of Avon.”

“Director Rachel Rockwell's artful trims in the text have reduced the play's length to a succinct but neatly rounded 75 minutes of unbroken hilarity. I've seen many a full-length "Shrew" and I'm sure I never laughed so hard at any of them. What is so good that it almost escapes notice is the company's mastery of Will Shakespeare's language. There's no thought of daunting poetry here, just the lusty brilliance of a writer who 400 years ago looked about him at the eternal verity of youth, and got it.”

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