‘The Taming’ takes the stage

Nicole Moussa acts out a scene for the play. It is set to debut Feb. 15.

Ashley Peterson, Practicum

Play features cast of three women.

Looking behind the scenes of the Oregon State University Theatre Department’s play “The Taming,” the word intimate first comes to mind. A minimalistic set including a bed, table, floral carpet, and mustard chair sets the scene for a unique dynamic between characters according to Alessandra Ferriso.

The play, originally written by Lauren Gunderson as a take on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” follows three women including a conservative senatorial aid, a beauty queen and a liberal blogger. This take on Shakespeare adds a witty twist and unique humor, while exhibiting an all-female cast, according to Ferriso.

The OSU production is directed by Harris, a senior in theatre arts and stars sophomore english and theatre major Alessandra Ferriso, junior psychology major Nicole Moussa and senior mathematical economics and philosophy major Lindsey Esch.

“As an activist, I am constantly looking critically at the world around me and I have never been very ‘patriotic,’” Harris said in an email when asked about their take on the play. “So when I was handed this play by the department I felt like I was in for a rough ride dealing with a script that was so

focused on patriotism.” 

Harris explained that the play focuses primarily on politics, bipartisanship, and the flaws of American ideals. It wasn’t until they heard “Diamond Heart” by Lady Gaga that the idea changed.

“I began to see many angles to work from. Specifically the lyrics, ‘Young, wild, American, Lookin’ to be somethin’… Girl’s playin’ bad ‘cause it doesn’t pay to be good…I might not be flawless, but you know I gotta diamond heart,’” Harris said in an email. “There was a diamond inside this play and I needed to use my critical mind to uncover it.” 

The play’s production requires a lot of time and patience during the rehearsal process according to senior theatre major Mike Stephens. As stage manager, he explain the long hours and late nights create an inviting environment for everyone to bond. But these long hours are not a problem for the cast.

“I really like that all of the actresses show up and have such a great work ethic,” Stephens said. “They are so excited to be here. There’s a certain enthusiasm that always shines through. ” 

Ferriso explained that the cast relies heavily on each other, since the cast only consists of three women. She plays three different characters within the play, all of whom have very different roles. 

“It is so funny and incredibly witty with such a fun kind of humor,” Ferriso said. “The small female cast adds such a unique dynamic.”

Harris is a fan of the female dynamic.  “These young women are here to support each other,” Harris said in an email. “They’ve even given us the

nickname ‘Shrew Crew.’” 

“‘The Taming’ is so funny and relevant,” Ferriso said. “It’s one of the best shows I’ve read.”

This political feminist comedy pokes fun at men in politics, and really makes fun of both sides, according to Stephens.

The play makes its debut Feb. 15 to Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Withycombe Hall Lab Theatre. 

Tickets will be available online starting Jan. 29 at 8:00 a.m.

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