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In this production, Norris explained, the audience sees a Kate who is not “fine.” This Kate isn’t a plucky, headstrong girl. She is a broken, angry woman.
In Petruchio, she finds the one person who not only can help her, but who understands her intuitively and can meet her in her darkest psychological state.
Unfortunately for Kate, even in this fun, loving version of “Taming of the Shrew,” she is still tortured, starved and deprived of sleep. It is still painfully uncomfortable to witness domestic abuse even when excused and explained in iambic pentameter.
However, there is a moment where the play touches the truth of loving and being loved when the characters Posner, Nickell and Norris have structured arrive at a mutual, gentle submission.
Petruchio demands for Kate to accept that the sun is the moon, because he says it is so. In this version, Kate gives over grudgingly, agreeing with her captor and finally understanding that to love is to accept the object of one’s love.
In that moment, the couple demonstrates what everyone who has ever been in any kind of love knows: Love is rarely about being right; it is about surrender and unconditional acceptance of another person.
“The Taming of the Shrew”
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Aaron Posner
Folger Elizabethan Theatre
201 East Capitol St. SE
Runs through June 10