Meadow Valley Middle School students were treated to a modified version of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” Jan. 29 at the Neldon C. Mathews Auditorium in Panaca by a traveling group from the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City.
Meadow Valley Middle School principal Cody Christensen said the school has sponsored this for the sixth grade and middle school students in Lincoln County annually for the past several years.
Students at Meadow Valley Middle School have studied the play, Christensen noted, and were able to participate in workshops put on by the actors during the morning. Then in the afternoon, all sixth grade and middle school students in the Lincoln County school district were invited to the play.
The “Taming of the Shrew” is about a rough-and-tumble, fortune-hunting scoundrel named Petruchio and he seeks to tame his wealthy shrewish wife, Katharina, who has a fiery temper and scolding tongue. A Cole Porter musical version called “Kiss Me Kate,” was made into a Hollywood film in 1953.
Shakespeare’s famed comedy was written between 1590 and 1592 and performed at the Globe Theatre in London. The Utah Shakespeare Festival trimmed the five-act play from its normal run time of about three hours to only 75 minutes with a 15 minute question and answer session with the actors afterwards.
There were seven actors/actresses and three support crew involved in the production. Christensen said, “The actors were very well prepared and did a fantastic job. It was an exceptionally good opportunity for our students.”
Following the play, one student commented, “It was a very entertaining show and there was a lot of action and romance.” Another student said, “It was Funtastical!;” a third said, “If you haven’t seen it you should definitely go and see it in Cedar City;” and a fourth said, “It was really good, it should have been longer.”