back to news March 4, 2014

UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company to present ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

Thanks to the unique partnership between The Ohio State University and UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the RSC’s production of The Taming of the Shrew geared to younger audiences will be performed on Ohio State’s campus April 4-11. This First Encounter production, aimed at 8-13 year olds, will be presented by the Ohio State Arts Initiative in Roy Bowen Theatre, Drake Performance and Event Center.

The production is directed by Michael Fentiman, and will tour throughout England before coming to Ohio for its only U.S. performances. About the show, Fentiman said, “Our production will embrace a spirit of mash up and confusion. Girls dressed as present-day males will play the boys, but without beards. Boys dressed as Elizabethan females will play the girls, but with beards. Feminine and masculine are thrown around so that the audience can focus on a story about two extraordinary people who find each other in the midst of madness, fighting like cat and dog, but in doing so, fall madly in love.” (Photo, Forbes Masson as Katherine. Photo by Simon Annand, Copyright RSC)

According to Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC director of education, these First Encounter Series productions aim to give children and young people a vivid and enjoyable first experience of Shakespeare’s work that will challenge, intrigue and ultimately delight audiences of all ages, but particularly the young people for whom they are created.

This is the third RSC production featuring RSC actors and geared to younger audiences that has delighted school-age audiences through the RSC/Ohio State partnership. An edited version of Hamlet came to Columbus in June 2011; in autumn 2012 a shortened version of King Lear was presented on campus. With the production of The Taming of the Shrew, more than 4,000 Columbus-area students have been introduced to Shakespeare through visiting RSC productions. Thousands more have experienced Shakespeare’s plays, thanks to Department of Theatre productions for school-age audiences.

The ongoing collaboration between Ohio State and the RSC is centered on the tenets of the RSC’s Stand Up for Shakespeare campaign, which calls for young people to: Do Shakespeare on their Feet, See it Live, Start it Earlier. Stand Up for Shakespeare has inspired a program of teacher professional development at Ohio State, which aims to bring Shakespeare to schoolchildren across Ohio and to boost efforts to bring more of the RSC’s Shakespeare productions to the U.S.

“This production is a wonderful example of introducing Shakespeare’s work to young audiences, and involving them in opportunities to explore the production with the cast,” said Mark Shanda, dean, arts and humanities, College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State. Each performance includes a 75-minute version of the play, and a chance to discuss it with the actors afterwards.

About the Play:

Bianca has men running after her. Kate has men running away from her. Either they both get married or neither of them do. Is anyone man enough to take on the Shrew?

This rollercoaster of a play has boys playing girls and girls playing boys to tell the story of two people’s crazy journey toward becoming the perfect match.

April 4 at 7:30 p.m.
April 5 at 1 pm and 7:30 p.m.
April 6 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
April 9 at 7:30 p.m.
April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
April 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Roy Bowen Theatre, Drake Performance and Event Center, 1849 Cannon Dr.

General public $15; Ohio State faculty, staff, students, Alumni Association members, senior citizens; $10; Children (K-12) $5.

Ticket Office:
(614) 292-2295 or

Here’s a short video produced by the RSC explaining the production geared to young audiences: