Shakespeare at the Fringe: Taming of the Show Goes Caveman

Taming of the ShowLittle Candle Productions brings its world premiere of the new musical Taming of the Show by Blake Waker to this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. The 55-minute farce takes the audience through the outlandish and hysterical rehearsal process of a dysfunctional production of Shrew set in caveman times. It will run June 5 – 25 in the Sacred Fools Theatre’s Black Box.

A line has been drawn in the sand betwixt actors and crewmembers. Never the twain shall meet. And yet… Eddie Littlejeans, the assistant stage manager of a dysfunctional production of Taming of the Shrew dares to harbor a flame for the leading lady. Can love find a way backstage? In what might be considered Noises Off! meets Misery (with singing and dancing!) the show within a show goes terribly wrong, while Taming of the Show gets it just right.

The cast includes Jeff DeCrosta (Eddie), Chineze Enekwechi (Annie), Marc Forget (Montana Stanislavski), Greg Steinbrecher (Brayden), Steve Peterson (Hillary), Paula Deming (Betty), and Anthony Papastrat (Ronald Jeremy). Musical direction is by Billy Gill and the show is produced by Karissa McKinney and Lynn Downey Braswell.

June 5 – 25, 2016
Little Candle Productions at Sacred Fools Theatre: Black Box
6322 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90038.
Tickets: $12 ($10 with Hollywood Fringe Festival Button)


Arena Cinema Presents Free Shakespeare Film Series

bbcshakespeareposter_240_356_81_s_c1Mark your calendars now: Arena Cinema Hollywood is commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by presenting a Free Shakespeare film series. While the films are free, you must still make a reservation online at or by calling (323) 306-0676. The Shakespeare series runs April 22 – 28 at Arena Cinema Hollywood, 1625 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028. Here’s what’s on the docket:

As You Like It
Sat. April 23 at 4:00 and Tues. April 26 at 5:30
This U.S. premiere is directed by Michael Elliott and Ronald Eyre and stars Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Allen, Ian Richardson, Patsy Byrne, Max Adrian and Patrick Wymark. BBC Worldwide North America. B&W, 1963 U.K., 135 minutes.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Sunday, April 24 at 7:40; Thurs. April 28 at 5:30
Also a U.S. premiere, it is directed by James Cellan Jones and produced by Cedric Messina, starring Lynn Redgrave, Eileen Atkins, Michael Gambon, Edward Fox, Eleanor Bron, Robert Stephens and Ronnie Barker. Set in Edwardian England and filmed in and around Scotney Castle in Kent. BBC Worldwide North America. Color, 1971, U.K., 120 minutes.

King Lear
Sun. April 24 at 5:00; Mon. April 25 at 7:10
Directed and adapted by Richard Eyre, this National Theater production is done in a sparse modernistic style and stars Ian Holm, Victoria Hamilton, Amanda Redman, Barbara Flynn, Timothy West and Paul Rhys. BBC Worldwide North America. Color, 1998, U.K./U.S.A., 150 minutes.

The Taming of the Shrew
Sat. Apr. 23 at 9:55 p.m.; Tues. April 26 at 7:50
Directed by David Richards, adapted by Sally Wainwright and produced by Diederick Santer starring Shirley Henderson, Rufus Sewell, Santiago Cabrera, Twiggy Lawson, Jaime Murray and David Mitchell. In this sexy update, Kate is a Member of Parliament who marries up in order to advance her goal of becoming a party leader. BBC Worldwide North America. Color, 2005, U.K., 90 minutes.

Chimes at Midnight
Fri. Apr. 22 at 6:30; Sat. Apr. 23 at 6:20; Wed. April 27 at 7:10; Thurs. April 28 at 7:35
Directed by Orson Welles. Adapted by Welles from Henry IV, Part One; Henry IV, Part Two; and Henry V and The Holinshed Chronicles. Produced by Harry Saltzman, Emiliano Piedra and Angel Escolano. Starring Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Margaret Rutherford and Marina Vlady. Orson Welles as Falstaff in one of Welles’ finest achievements. Janus Films. B&W, 1967, France/Spain/Switzerland, 113 minutes.

Sun. Apr. 24 at 3:30; Mon. Apr. 25 at 5:30. Wed. Apr. 27 at 5:30
Directed and adapted by Bruce Ramsay. Produced by Ramsay, Joseph Gould and John Cassini. Starring Bruce Ramsay, Lara Gilchrist, Peter Wingfield, Gillian Barber, John Cassini and Duncan Fraser. This modern-dress version of the story of the melancholy Danish prince and the intrigues surrounding his family is set in postwar London. Breaking Glass Pictures. Color, 2014, Canada, 88 minutes.

Discounted parking is available with validation at lots adjacent to the venue and across the street.

The Taming of the Shrew by Lovers & Madmen

Lovers & Madmen present a free outdoor performance of The Taming of the Shrew directed by Bruce Cervi, Sunday, October 18, 3:00 pm at  Levitt Pavilion, Pasadena Memorial Park.

Shrew Levitt Pavilion

Kingsmen Shakespeare Camp adds Puppet Workshop

Shakespeare Camp 2015The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company Summer Theatre Camp is adding a new Puppet Workshop to its schedule this year. In the new session taught by camp director Aaron Anthony Bonilla, campers 8 to 16 will build and learn to manipulate marionettes culminating in a public showcase of scenes from Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare Camp, now in its 30th year, is co-presented by California Lutheran University and provides opportunities for children to learn theater techniques and try them out on stage while developing self-awareness, confidence and discipline.

In Beginning Shakespeare, children aged 8 to 12 will learn about the Bard, textual analysis, vocabulary, stage movement and combat techniques as they prepare to present a condensed version of Taming of the Shrew or Comedy of Errors. Training for 8- to 16-year-olds continues with Advanced Shakespeare, which covers Shakespeare scenes, stage combat, period dance and acting techniques in more depth and concludes with the presentation of an abridged Macbeth. This year, Advanced Shakespeare will be an all-day camp, and all-day and half-day options will be available for Beginning Shakespeare.

Musical Theatre for 12- to 16-year-olds will cover vocal technique, acting and dance and end with a performance of selections from a musical.

Bonilla_AaronBonilla, in his second year as director, helped develop the curriculum and designed the teacher-development program for the apprentices who teach in the camp. A graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts, he has devoted himself to theater production, performance and education for 14 years. He has also worked with the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in downtown LA and taught private lessons with The Puppet School of Culver City.

Barbara Wegher-Thompson, who teaches dance and movement at Cal Lutheran and has been involved with the Young Artists Ensemble, will again teach Musical Theatre. Teachers, actors and Kingsmen Shakespeare Company members round out the staff.

Two-week sessions begin June 15 and continue through July 31. Classes will be held in the Cal Lutheran Theatre Arts Building and adjoining spaces.

For more information, visit, call 805-493-3452 or email Registration is available online.

Fringe Spotlight: The Taming of the Shrew (An Exploration of Gender Expression)

Taming of the Shrew - Queer Classics

Rehearsals are underway for Queer Classics’ production of Shakespeare’s controversial and often polarizing commedia dell’arte comedy, The Taming of the Shrew. Conceived and directed by Casey Kringlen, this unique re-imagined exploration of gender expression in the comedic style of I Love Lucy comes to the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival for six performances only.

In the Queer Classics version of modern times, Kate and Petruchio might identify as trans, but the 1950s are a completely different world. In this new and sexy adaptation, the lead lovers explore their expression of gender in a time before there were labels to define it. The performance running time is 80 minutes.

The cast will feature Shaan Dasani, Ryan Leslie Fisher, Suzanne Fortin, Julie Rei Goldstein, Taylor Goss, Bobby Gutierrez, Zach Kanner, Jeffrey Masters, Gordon Meacham, Dawn Medina, Nathan Mohebbi, Schaeffer Nelson, Lauren Parkinson, Angel Payne, Gia Ryan, and Sebastian Vegara. Lighting design is by Dan Weingarten and the stage manager is Amber Bruegel.

Queer Classics is dedicated to sharing classic stories re-imagined through a queer lens — art for the LGBTQ community and its supporters. For more information, visit This event is presented as part of the City of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival which this year celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Cityhood with the theme ‘WeHo@30, Life@30.’ Events take place from Harvey Milk Day, May 22, to the end of June with a special full day of theatre in Plummer Park on June 27. For more info and to see a full roster of events, visit

June 6 – 21, 2015
Actors Company (The Other Space)
916 N. Formosa Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036
Tickets: (323) 455-4585 or

Audition Update: Queer Classics – The Taming of the Shrew

Update 4/7/15: If you missed the open call you may submit through Actors Access for an appointment time for Friday, April 17, 2015. Click Here for a breakdown of roles and all the details.

Queer Classics is holding open call auditions Saturday, April 4 for Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew – An Exploration in Gender Expression, directed by Casey Kringlen, presented as part of West Hollywood’s One City One Pride and the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In modern times, Queer Classics’ Kate and Petruchio might identify as trans, but the 1950s are a completely different world. In this fresh and sexy take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy, the company explores the characters’ expression of gender in a time before there were labels to define it.

Please prepare no more than 45 seconds of Shakespeare verse (8-20 lines) and bring your headshot and resume. Rehearsals begin in late April. Performance dates: June 11 – 28. Additional AEA auditions will be held in mid-April by appointment. (To request an appointment or for questions contact For more information, including audition location, directions, and more go to

Queer Classics is a young company of theatre artists who want to work in an inclusive, creative environment. We are open to all and celebrate diversity within our team. Classic stories re-imagined through a queer lens: Art for the LGBTQ Community and it’s Straight Supporters.

Shakespeare Uncovered: The Taming of the Shrew with Morgan Freeman

Shakespeare Uncovered

Is it sexist or subversive? Morgan Freeman says he’s always seen The Taming of the Shrew as a country tale, one that he feels is Shakespeare’s most compelling comedy. In the next episode of Shakespeare Uncovered, Freeman takes a look at the play and explores that question, as well as what is at the heart of it all.

We hear from some of the women who have played Katherine and their views about the controversial role, among them Fiona Shaw (RSC 1987), Sinead Cusack (RSC 1982), and Tracy Ullman, who was Kate to Freeman’s Petruchio in The Public Theater’s 1990 Shakespeare in the Park production in New York. That version of Shrew was set in the Old West, a location that Freeman says has more in common with Shakespeare than you might think.

Guests also include writer Germaine Greer, Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper, Head of Courses & Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, and Oxford University Professors Jonathan Bate and Laurie Maguire who offer insightful comments about the play. The story is often uncomfortable for audiences in this century because it is viewed through a different social context than it was in Shakespeare’s time. Maguire talks about how polarizing interpretations of the play can be and how pace affects the way the comedy plays. We also learn what Shakespeare might really be saying about women (and marriage), and the significance of Katherine’s final speech, the longest of any of the characters in the entire play.  More

Review: Laughter Rules in ISC’s The Taming of the Shrew

ISC - Taming of the Shrew

Melissa Chalsma as Kate and Luis Galindo as Petruchio. Photos by Grettel Cortes

It begins with a wager and ends with a food fight and in between the laughs fly fast and furious in Independent Shakespeare Co.’s The Taming of the Shrew. Yes, throughout much of the play those laughs come at the expense of one woman, Katherine (Melissa Chalsma as the shrew of the title), but director David Melville turns the shenanigans into an indisputably jolly event. In Griffith Park that’s really what it’s all about as every weekend thousands of LA theatre lovers come to share in the laughter during ISC’s Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. Along with Shrew the company is offering Twelfth Night in rep through August 31. Catch both; each one is a comic delight.  More

ISC Presents an Italian “La Dolce Vita” Adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew


This summer, Independent Shakespeare Co. brings a bit of “La Dolce Vita” to The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival as it presents its take on one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies, The Taming of the Shrew. Set on the coast of Italy in a provincial, 1950’s town, it is directed by Independent Shakespeare Co.’s managing director David Melville. The show will begin previews on Thursday, July 24 and will open on Saturday, August 2 and perform through Friday, August 29 at Old Zoo in Griffith Park. All ISC Summer Shakespeare productions begin at 7:00 pm and are FREE to the public.

Melville says, “We’ve tackled all of the big comedies at the festival except The Taming of the Shrew. It’s a big crowd pleaser but it comes with some complicated sexual politics! We’re thrilled to bring this play to our audience because Melissa Chalsma and Luis Galindo were such a hit last year in Macbeth. Probably one of the best things we’ve done as a company. It’s going to be so exciting to see what they do with Kate and Petruchio. We’re looking to Federico Fellini for this production. Fellini is a very theatrical director and from a design point of view it’s a great source to draw from – for The Taming of the Shrew we want to create a small community like the one portrayed in Amarcord with La Dolce Vita sexiness thrown in.”  More

ISC’s Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival Offers Two Shakespeare Classics

ISC logo
Independent Shakespeare Co. returns to the Old Zoo in Griffith Park for its 2014 season with two plays by William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew.

Comments Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma, “We’re delighted to have reached our 10th anniversary season bringing free Shakespeare performances to Los Angeles city parks! We’re celebrating with a joyful season. Twelfth Night is one of the great works of the theater: an extraordinary treatise on the power of love. The Taming of the Shrew, wildly popular with audiences, is an opportunity to highlight our performers’ skill with physical theater and our anarchic sensibilities. Both productions will feature plenty of live music. We’ll be making a lot of happy noise this summer in Griffith Park.”  More

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: