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Tamer Tamed

"All the several wrongs, done by imperious husbands to their wivesThese thousands years and upwards, strengthen thee;/ Thou hast a brave cause  "

By John Fletcher 

Directed by Luciana Silvestre Fernandes 

Presented by The Fountain School of Performing Arts

Performed at the MacMurray Studio at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on Oct. 17- 21st, 2022. 


Photography: Nick Pierce

Music Direction: James Thomas

Scenic and Costume Design: Katrin Whitehead

Lighting DesignRyan Rafuse

Stage Management: Emma Lamont 

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Tamer Tamed is a less known Jacobean comedy first performed in 1611. It was written in response and as a sequel to Taming of the Shrew, with just as much situational comedy bits, witty remarks and dick jokes without the (probably inescapable) misogyny. 

It tells the story of Maria, who marries Petruchio after Kate's death, but before lying with him, she will first fix his bad behavior, by taming the famous woman-tamer. In a combination of Lysistrata and a reversed Taming of the Shrew, this hilarious play takes the women's side, gives them a lot more stage time, and through many comedic turns, Petruchio is finally "tamed" in the eyes of Maria, and the play ends with the two reconciled and an Epilogue which says: 
 

 “The tamer's tamed, but so, as nor the men,
   Can find one just cause to complain of, when
   They fitly consider, in their lives
   They should not reign as tyrants o'er their wives.
   Nor can the women from this precedent
   Insult or Triumph, it being aptly meant
   To teach both sexes due equality
   And, as they stand bound, to love mutually.” 

 

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Taking place at Maria and Petruchio's wedding, we open and close with a wedding celebration. In this Renaissance themed party, the audience come as bride and groom's guests, sitting on opposite sides of the stage. In the middle alley we have both ends- the men's side at the elevated bride and groom throne stage and the women's barricaded doors to the house where they make their fort and fight for the middle ground in between.

Oh, with some nice "dick-our" treatment as well.

 

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The costumes are very much what each character's costume would be for such a wedding, mixing period and contemporary types, and changing throughout the play as the characters do (or as they do not), shedding and adding layers that bring them to their comfortable authentic selves.

 

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