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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Theatre Dept. tames Shakespeare's Shrew

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 8, 1999 -- Visitors to the University of Rhode Island will be transported back to turn of the century Italy during the month of April as the URI Theatre Department presents one of William Shakespeare's most popular comedies and hosts an exhibit featuring clothing and life from early 20th century Italy.

The Theatre Department will present Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew on April 22-24 and April 28-May 1 at 8 p.m. at the Robert E. Will Theatre in the URI Fine Arts Center on the Kingston Campus. General admission for the performance is $10; $8 for students, seniors, and children.

In conjunction with the play, the Theatre Dept. is also hosting an exhibit in the main lobby of the URI library on the Kingston Campus showcasing the fabrics and attire of the times. Free and open to the public, the exhibit will run through the end of the month.

The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of a nobleman, Petruchio, and his promise to marry Kate, a known shrew " a nagging, evil-tempered woman " and tame her into a dutiful wife.

"The play is fun and alive, but also intriguing as it examines the relationship between men and women and the expectations of marriage. It is one you have to look at with your eyes wide open," said director Tony Estrella, who is currently teaching at URI as a Guest Artist.

This production features an unusually large number of URI students, alumni, and faculty. Although auditions are open to the community, this 23-member cast consists primarily of URI theater students. Taryn DeVito, a senior theater major from Yorktown, N.Y., stars as the shrew Kate, and Joshua Willis, a senior theater major from Cranston, R.I., plays the part of Petruchio. The two are no strangers to the stage, and have performed in many productions throughout their years at URI. They feel ready for the challenge of a Shakespearean play.

"It takes a lot of work, especially with Shakespeare. Because of the heightened language, you have to rise to the occasion," said DeVito.

Estrella is another familiar face to the University's stage. A 1993 URI theater and English graduate, he appeared in many productions throughout his years at URI, including Cabaret, American Buffalo, Comedy of Errors, The Children's Hour, and The Miracle Worker. He now teaches acting and script analysis.

Students playing other main roles include: Kerry Carney, a junior theater major from Lowell, Mass., as Bianca; Anthony Luciano, a junior theater and comparative literature major from Colchester, Vt., as Hortensio; Fabio Iannella, a senior theater major from Ashaway, R.I., as Tranio; Scott Sanborn, a senior theater major from Windhorn, Maine, as Grumio; and Joel Van Iderstine, a senior theater major from Middleborough, Mass., as Lucentio. Live music by some of the actors, who are also gifted musicians, is interwoven throughout the performance.

Set design for the play is by Christian Wittwer of Wakefield, R.I., costumes by David T. Howard of West Kingston, R.I., and lighting by Jason Arnold.

Howard also coordinated the library exhibit, which showcases a collection of his costume drawings for the production, authentic Edwardian clothing samples and Venetian Carnival pieces, and information about the play and early 20th century Italy.

For reservations and information call 874-5843.

For More Information: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-2116


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