By: Evelyn McNeal
On Feb. 17 I attended the play “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Paul Robeson Theatre on the campus of NC A&T State University. The play is about the classic Shakespeare romantic comedy that explores the relationship between Petruchio and Katharina. The play confronts many of today’s issues in society concerning gender roles, with women taking on new roles and “not being tamed.”
After waiting in a brief line, I was seated inside the theatre, which was packed with an audience prepared to see the show. The show started promptly at 7:30 p.m. with an action-packed opening scene. The first thing that caught my attention was the elaborate details of the costumes, which are symbolic for the gender roles of the play’s main characters Katharina and Petruchio.
The modern spin of the production made this Shakespeare play very interesting to watch. Katharina, who was played by Jaylynn Pasley, and Petruchio, who was played by Ishmael Muhammad, were absolutely phenomenal. Their acting style and sense of humor make the play exciting and worth watching.
The director Xulee-Vanecia J. is a graduate from NC A&T Theatre Program. As an African American director, she has dealt with critics who doubted her talent and work. Critics once said that Shakespeare was too complicated for the black theatre. With this production, she has certainly silenced those critics.
Overall, I think that “The Taming of the Shrew” was excellent and is a must-see. Unlike some other Shakespeare plays I have seen, this one was thrilling from beginning to the end. Katharina’s monologue in the final scene of the play was very moving, in my opinion. She confronts the main ideas of the play about her changes to conform to the roles and duties of a wife . I don’t think that Petruchio was successful in taming the shrew, but go see for yourself! The show runs from Thursday, Feb. 21 beginning at 7:30 p.m. to Sunday, Feb. 24 beginning at 3 p.m. The cost for adults is $17, for senior citizens and non-A&T students are $11, children 12 and under is $6, and A&T students are free with their Aggie One card. For tickets, call (336) 334-7749 or visit www.ncataggies.com