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Clarke Presents All-Female Production of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

By Clarke News  |  March 6, 2024

In partnership with Fly-by-Night Productions, Clarke University will hold performances of William Shakespeare’s classic, The Taming of the Shrew. Performances will begin at 7 p.m. on March 22 and 23 in Jansen Music Hall, with facilitated discussions to follow. 

While all performances are free and open to the public, donations to the Theresa Shelter will gladly be accepted as part of the event. 

In the adaptation directed by Sunil Malapati, Clarke Professor of Chemistry, The Taming of the Shrew is explored in a modern context as a play within a play. Set in 2016, the audience finds an all-female cast rehearsing the original work yet leaving room for individuals to step outside their characters and explore the ideas in light of everything from the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series to the dawn of the Trump administration.  

“People think of The Taming of the Shrew as this ‘battle of the sexes’ play, and there are certainly misogynistic themes in it,” Malapati said. “With an all-female cast, it presents a very different way of thinking about the characters. I hope the performances drive people to think about toxic masculinity, gender stereotypes, and the role of women in society today.” 

To fund the production, Malapati, who oversees the Dubuque Shakespeare Project, applied for and received a National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Dubuque’s Creative Empowerment Subgrant titled “Shakespeare’s Shrew Through Brecht.”