On Friday, April 26, 2013, we open The Taming of the Shrew at Seattle Shakespeare Company.
This staging is a remounting of the highly successful 2009 Wooden O production, with the majority of the cast returning to the show. We are taking the show from the park to the stage, and while this exciting revisiting maintains the spirit and vitality of the park show, there are a few new moments here and there which will delight the crowd, even if the show has been seen before!
What I love about this show…well, there are A LOT of things I love about this show – the play itself, our setting and style, the company of players, the crew – but I want to spend a few moments here to call out and praise the individuals involved who just about feel like family by now.
- George Mount, Artistic Director ~ This man gave me one of my first big breaks in Seattle theater when he cast me in The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the role of Proteus. I am constantly inspired by his dedication to creating inspired work on the stage, and am particularly moved by what he has done with Wooden O.
- John Bradshaw, Managing Director ~ It was during our Wooden O staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (I was playing Puck) that I realized how wonderful a man John Bradshaw is. He told me once that I was a “character actor with leading man looks,” and I take that to be a very high compliment, indeed. And, he bakes fantastic cookies! And, he is supremely supportive of the Seattle theatre scene as a whole!
- Aimee’ Bruneau, Director ~ The first time I auditioned for Aimee’ was for Seattle Public Theater’s Three Days of Rain back in 2008. The next year, I was auditioning for Petruchio (to Jane May’s Kate) and Grumio for her The Taming of the Shrew. What I love about working with Aimee’ is that she allows me to push the boundaries of my character’s behavior to the limit, always allowing me to explore, while knowing when to tell me to rein it in.
- K.d. Schill – Outstanding costume design. As always! Everyone looks so boss, but she knows how much I love my mullet hat, mesh shirt, and boa.
- Craig Wollam – Whether in the park or on the stage, this trailer park came alive thanks to him.
- Jessica Trundy – She made us look OH SO GOOD under her lighting design.
- Rob Witmer – The hardest working sound designer in Seattle! His design is excellent in this show and we are so lucky to have him back!
- David Quicksall ~ Man, what a journey it’s been with this fellow. I first met Mr. Qucksall in 2001 when I auditioned for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home. I was cast as the lead, and that show was my first of three epic productions with the theatre (the others being Moby-Dick and The Art of Racing in the Rain)
- Kelly Kitchens ~ We first met during Kuwait at Theater Schmeater. What a story that was! The sand! The smoke! The blindfolding! Kelly has been a good friend ever since, and playing with her on stage is always a delight.
- Keith Dahlgren ~ 5-peat! Keith and I, over the past 6 years, have worked on 5 summer shows with Wooden O, which have all toured to Walla Walla. At this point, I don’t think I could work on a Wooden O show without him.
- John Ulman ~ John has created “the most hysterical Horetensio in this history of Shakespeare.” He is not only a standout in the show, he is also an amazing headshot photographer.
- Brian Claudio Smith ~ Brian and I went to Seattle University together. We like to joke that we are of the very small handful of graduates still working in the theatre. Working with him is always a pleasure.
- Samara Lerman ~ As Traino in our production, Samara stands out because she gets to impersonate a man, and then hook up with the trashy Grumio (me)! Samara’s work is always compelling (on the stage or the screen), and it’s great to be working with her again.
- Bill Higham ~ Bill is a great actor and outstanding collaborator, always ready to explore and have fun. He and I have a great time at “man camp,” and this time around we get on the chopper together and take a spin through the muck and the mire!
- Karen Jo Fairbrook ~ KJ has to be one of the sweetest ladies I know! So supportive of myself and my wife, Angela DiMarco. She hold down the trailer park as Mama Baptista.
- David Gassner ~ Smart, funny, great timing…has a big ol’ dog named Jellybean. What’s not to love?
- Brenda Joyner ~ Our third Shakespeare together, and still to talking to each other. What’s up with that? Brenda is a delight, and I am so glad she is joining us for this remount.
- Brandon Ryan ~ Brandon Ryan and I come from the same stock – fearless, experimental, physical – and I am thrilled that he is joining us for this remount.
- Pilar O’Connell ~ Our tireless and intrepid intern! She gets better and better with each passing day, and she has been so good to have in the cast for this remount.