We continued with the work that the group had done last week on Act IV Scene ii. We began by clarifying each person’s objectives – what does everyone want in this scene? At that point, one woman suggested that we work our way through the scene in contemporary English, since it seemed like there was some confusion about what the lines meant. I invited her to lead the exercise, and she did a great job helping people through it and stopping them when things needed to be clarified; they actually were pretty on top of stopping for clarification themselves in most cases.
After working on this scene for quite a bit (and it gained quite a bit of clarity and strength!), we began work on the final scene of the play, which is going to need a lot of attention. We read through it somewhat on its feet, although, since it takes place at a banquet, people mostly stayed seated. We discussed the need to be very intentional about the seating arrangement and decided to try several different things as we move forward.
There is still some contention about the meaning of Katharina’s final monologue, and that is to be expected as there is ongoing debate about that piece in all sorts of circles where Shakespeare is debated! We may never all agree on what’s going on here – is Kate truly “tamed” or is she being sarcastic? Is she just trying to win a bet? It’s going to take some exploration, as well as a willingness on the ensemble’s part to trust the woman playing Kate, in the end, to go with her gut on what feels best to her.
Written by Lauren
On Thursday we started out talking about costumes, the set, and some props. One woman told us that she will be stepping down from the part of Grumio since she's released the week of the performance and she needs to focus her energy on that. She's sticking with the group, she just doesn't want that extra pressure. Another woman talked about possibly stepping down from her role as Baptista so she can focus her energy on writing, which has become a very important part of her life. She did say that if no one else is interested in the role, she would keep it.
The women had really great ideas in terms of costumes. They want it to look as period as possible, but with modern comedic elements such as college type paraphernalia for Padua. The women had some great ideas regarding their own characters. When it came to the set, there was a question of what we would do with the flats. One woman suggested that we do something similar to last year by painting words that relate to misogyny and patriarchy on the flats. They want to keep the show funny, but that would also show some of the underlying themes in the show. Overall, we're still brainstorming, though!
After that we did some warm ups. Since we didn't have a large attendance, we were able to concentrate on some monologue work with Katharina and Petruchio. We went through Katharina's final monologue and broke it down line by line and talked about what her intentions are for the piece. We came to some good conclusions, and she was excited to do some more work on her own time. We did the same thing with Petruchio and also had some good breakthroughs.
We then moved on to the scene where Katharina and Petruchio first meet. We broke down the scene and found some spots where there's innuendo. This gave some good context and the actors had a good time playing around with the language and the scene.
Even though we had a small group, it was very productive!