The cast and crew of “The Taming of the Shrew” prepare themselves and their Little Italy set for the upcoming shows, beginning on Nov. 13.

By Olivia La Bianca
Student Writer

If you have visited Climenhaga recently, you might have seen the gigantic hearts hanging from the ceiling reading “Compli-kated”. The unique decoration revolves around the Messiah College Department of Theater and Dance’s performance of The Taming of the Shrew, which opens tonight in Climenhega’s Miller Theatre.

The famous Shakespeare play will be getting a modern makeover. According to the event description: “The story of Kate and Petruchio’s unlikely romance will be told through the icons and idioms of popular culture, in which their relationship will be portrayed as –to borrow a popular idiom –‘complicated’.”

“This ‘pop art’ rendition of the classic Shakespeare comedy will neither sidestep nor offer apologies for its cultural controversies,”the play description adds. “The play will be set in New York’s ‘Little Italy’, where a supporting cast of bold and colorful stereotypes will drive the plot at break-neck speed.”

Senior Mary Finch, who will play the character of Grumio, said there are many components that make this version of Taming of the Shrew special.

“Tom Ryan, our director, has found a way to make this play relevant to modern audience, by incorporating the stereotypes of our modern age creating not only a different interpretation, but also a great show,” Finch said. “I am not sure if there have been any other productions that set the action in modern day Little Italy, but there definitely has never been one by this group of people, with this dedication and passion for creating an amazing show.”

There were obstacles along the way, beginning with grappling with the renown of the text itself. Finch has asserted, however, that the director has had “an amazingly complete vision for this production”.

“His enthusiasm has been infectious to this cast, and as a result I have no doubt it will spread to the audience as well,” she said.

What should the audience be most excited about? In Finch’s opinion, everything:

“The show! The set! All of it! I honestly believe that we […] are making a fantastic production. The set design, which has been coming together in just these past few weeks, is breathtaking and it does some really cool stuff with the help our dedicated stage hands …Our actors are all brilliant not only individually, but collectively and with their relationships with each other. There are some really hilarious moments, some really dramatic moments, and some really romantic moments …It would be absolutely impossible to pick just one.”

Publicist Sarah Goldy-Brown explained that there is a way for students to get a free ticket to the show.

“Little bags of candy hearts will be spread in common areas around campus and some of the bags contain hearts with the words “TAMING”, “OF THE”, “SHREW,” she said. “Individuals who gather all three of these hearts and present them to the ticket office will receive a complimentary ticket.”

Goldy-Brown said that the publicity team would love to hear feedback about the show and are encouraging people to utilize the hashtag “#ThisIsHowWeShrewIt”when posting anything about the show on social media.

The play will run Nov. 13-16 and Nov. 20-23. Show times are 8 p.m. on Nov. 13-15 and Nov. 20-22, and 3 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 23. General admission tickets are $10, while student and senior citizen tickets cost $7. Tickets can be purchase at the Ticket Office, online at or by calling 717-691-6036.

For more information, look for informational posters around campus or visit the Messiah College Department of Theatre and Dance Facebook page.


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