Farmington High School will present The Tamer TamedA battle of the sexes will play out on stage this Friday evening, as the Farmington High School drama department presents its one night showing of the one-act play, The Tamer Tamed.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
A battle of the sexes will play out on stage this Friday evening, as the Farmington High School drama department presents its one night showing of the one-act play, The Tamer Tamed.
According to director Sarah Stout, The Tamer Tamed is actually a sequel of sorts to William Shakespeare’s comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. It was written by playwright John Fletcher approximately 20 years after Shakespeare wrote his original play.
In order to understand the script of The Tamer Tamed, Stout said, one must know the basics of Shakespeare’s piece. In The Taming of the Shrew, a man by the name of Petruchio marries and “tames” a woman named Kate. In Fletcher’s sequel, Kate has died, and Petruchio takes a new wife, Maria.
“He remarries a girl named Maria, but she decides she wants to give him a taste of his own medicine and to tame him. She refuses to consummate the marriage until he behaves himself and becomes a better person, essentially,” Stout said.
Petrucio is being portrayed by FHS senior Zach Gerlach, and junior Zelda Wear plays Maria. Because it is not a full production, there are only eight students in the play. The script itself condenses everything from a full performance into one act. A simple set of just a door and window frames is used as the house, and the audience is left to fill in details with their imaginations.
“It’s kind of an art-deco style set. Because one act is a traveling show, the set has to be very compact. Within the show, the women barricade themselves inside the house. They won’t let the men in,” Stout said.
Stout describes The Tamer Tamed as Elizabethean in style, meaning the actors are working very hard to study and learn the dialect and mannerisms of Shakespeare’s era. At the same time, Stout chose to put a 1920s-era spin on the production, since women really started to step out of old, traditional roles during that age.
“It’s a battle of the sexes, of them trying to outwit and outsmart each other. I have it set in the 1920s because that’s when women starting making a name for themselves and doing whatever they wanted to do. They were becoming more independent. That’s what the show is about, independence and equality,” Stout said. “A marriage isn’t about one person. It’s about the two people in it working together.”
FHS had a fall musical this year, and a spring drama is planned as well. The one act play falls in the winter, as a way for drama students to really challenge themselves as actors, and to challenge themselves on their technique and ability, Stout said.
The one act play is also part of a contest, with schools receiving scores for their performances. FHS will perform The Tamer Tamed for the public at 7 p.m. Friday at Boeckman Middle School. On Saturday, the cast heads to New Prague for the Missota Conference Festival, a sort of mock competition. The first round of scored competition begins Jan. 26, at Lakeville South High School.
Stout is looking forward to the next few weeks, and seeing how the cast does with the piece and the competition itself.
“It’s been really interesting to see them come alive in that Shakespearean style, and it’s been fun for me directing it,” she said.