The Taming of the Shrew

Best Performing Arts Program

The main action of The Taming of the Shrew takes place as a play within the play, performed for the benefit of a drunken tinker, Christopher Sly. Baptista Minola, a wealthy widower of Padua, has two daughters: the demure and popular Bianca and her sharp-tongued and ill-tempered older sister, Katherina. Bianca already has two suitors – Hortensio and Gremio – when a third, Lucentio, arrives on the scene. Baptista, however, has decreed that no one can marry Bianca until a husband has been found for Katherina.

A solution presents itself when Hortensio’s friend Petruchio arrives in town looking for a wife. After meeting Katherina, Petruchio is unperturbed by her insults and resolves to marry her, leaving the way clear for Hortensio (posing as a music teacher), Lucentio (posing as a literary tutor) and the hapless Gremio to continue their pursuit of Bianca, whom Baptista decides to bestow on the wealthiest of the three.

An absurdly costumed Petruchio arrives late for his wedding and conducts himself outrageously throughout. Afterwards, instead of staying for the wedding banquet, he immediately carries the still-protesting Katherina off to his house in Verona. There he subjects her to a series of humiliations – having food prepared and then sending it away untouched, ordering fine clothes for her and then rejecting them in apparent rage – in a calculated strategy to break down her willful disposition.

The success of his plan becomes apparent when, at a celebration following the secret marriage of Bianca and Lucentio, the reformed Katherina advises the other women present on the necessity of being a devoted and dutiful wife.
Barry Avrich, Susan Edwards
Channel (Broadcaster):
Production Company:
Melbar Entertainment Group