Amy Freed's SHREW!—Wickedly Funny Shakespeare Reboot—Has World Premiere at South Coast Repertory
COSTA MESA, Calif. (March, 20, 2018)—Playwright Amy Freed has always been a Shakespeare fan. Her breakout hit, The Beard of Avon (SCR-commissioned and premiered, 2001), was a smart, funny look at the controversy surrounding the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. Now comes SHREW! (March 24-April 21, Segerstrom Stage), in which Freed has re-imagined The Bard’s play, The Taming of the Shrew, as a wickedly funny love story of two people who find their way to true, deep and mutual love. Art Manke directs SHREW!, which is an anchor production of the 2018 Pacific Playwrights Festival. Tickets are available at www.scr.org.
“Amy Freed is one of the smartest people I have ever met,” said Manke, whose long-term collaboration with Freed goes back to graduate school at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. Manke directed Freed’s The Monster Builder last season at SCR, a work that had been developed through the theatre’s new-play development program. “Her unique view of the world makes her plays delightfully surprising to work on.”
Freed’s reboot of the story delves into Kate’s and Petruchio’s back stories. For Kate, it’s breaking free of the constraints on women of the late 16th century and enjoying all the rights and opportunities that men in her society enjoyed. For Petruchio, it’s a smoothing-out of his stock braggadocio with more complicated dimensions and creating in him a suitable spouse for Kate.
Freed is the author of The Monster Builder, Safe in Hell, The Beard of Avon, Freedomland and You, Nero, all commissioned and performed at SCR. Her other plays include Them That Are Perfect, Restoration Comedy, The Psychic Life of Savages, Still Warm and Claustrophilia. She was a Pulitzer Prize finalist (Freedomland) and recipient of both the Joseph Kesselring Award and the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award. Her work has widely been produced in a variety of houses including Arena Stage, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Goodman Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theater and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. She is an artist-in-residence at Stanford University.
The cast includes Elijah Alexander, Stephen Caffrey, Peter Frechette, Jeremy Peter Johnson, Sierra Jolene, Martin Kildare, Colette Kilroy, Mike McShane, Matt Orduña, Susannah Rogers, Bhama Roget, Brett Ryback and Danny Scheie.
The design and creative team includes Ralph Funicello, scenic design; David Kay Mickelsen, costume design; Jaymi Lee Smith, lighting design; Steven Cahill, composer and soundscape; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. The production manager is Joshua Marchesi and the stage manager is Lora K. Powell. The dramaturg is John Glore.
SHREW! has generous support from Honorary Producers Geoff and Valerie Fearns, Timothy and Marianne Kay and the Argyros Family Foundation. The media sponsor for the show is 89.3 KPCC Public Radio.
Tickets start at $23. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, fulltime educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org.
Related Information for SHREW!
Tickets: May be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run March 24-April 21. Ticket prices start at $23. Low-priced previews run March 24-29. SCR’s performances run Tuesdays-Sundays; there are no performances on Mondays.
Performance Dates, Times
- Saturday, at 8 p.m., March 24.
- Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., March 25, and March 27-29.
- Regular performances run March 31-April 21 Note: Friday, March 30, is an invitation-only performance.
- Evening Performances:
- Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, at 7:30 p.m.; April 1, April 3-5; April 8, April 10-12; and April 15, April 17-19.
- Fridays-Saturdays, at 8 p.m.; March 31; April 6-7; April 13-14; and April 20-21.
- Saturdays-Sundays, at 2:30 p.m.; March 31-April 1; April 7-8; April 14-15; and April 21-22.
- ASL-interpreted: Saturday, April 14, at 2:30 p.m.
- Post-Show Discussions: Wednesday, April 4, and Tuesday, April 10. Discuss the play with cast members of SHREW! during a free post-show discussion led by South Coast Repertory’s literary team. Segerstrom Stage.
- Inside the Season: Saturday, April 7, from, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session includes in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff, who reveal secrets and offer insights into SCR’s production of SHREW!. Segerstrom Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.
- American Sign Language-Interpreted: Saturday, April 14, at 2:30 p.m.
Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.
Current and Upcoming Productions: Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee, through March 25; Little Black Shadows by Kemp Powers, April 8-29; The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein, May 5-June 2; and Amos & Boris by Sofia Alvarez and David Roland Tierney, adapted from the book by William Steig, May 18-June 3 (Theatre for Young Audiences). The Pacific Playwrights Festival runs April 20-22. More information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org