Stansbury High School’s auditorium will be the local version of The Globe tomorrow as visiting thespians bring Shakespeare’s words to life.
The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare-in-the-Schools tour will make a stop at SHS Wednesday at 7 p.m. for an abbreviated version of “The Taming of the Shrew.” Nikki Koontz, media and public relations manager for the festival, said the tour is an effort to bring The Bard’s works to more people.
“We’re trying to bring theater and Shakespeare to rural communities, to correctional facilities, to community centers,” Koontz said. “We just try to bring this to as many people as we can touch, to bring worldly ideas and culture and Shakespeare’s works to people who might not be exposed to it as much.”
In “The Taming of the Shrew,” the sweet Bianca wants to marry, but her father forbids it while her older sister, Katherine, is still single. Fast-talking Petruchio rises to the challenge of “taming” the shrew-like Katherine, and the wit and verbal barbs fly. Koontz said the tour’s production of the play has been shortened to be 75 minutes long and is set in a carnival.
While Shakespeare’s Elizabethan rhymes might be a little difficult for some to understand, Koontz said, the troupe has been performing the show since January and has a firm handle on the language and characters.
“People shouldn’t be intimidated with the language at all. The actors have been performing this since January, so they’re really, really familiar with it,” she said. “It’s really dynamic and relevant, especially for high school kids.”
Koontz said the 13-week tour, now in its twentieth year, reaches more than 25,000 people, and offers a question and answer session afterwards to clear up any lingering questions audiences might have about the production. The questions at each community are different, she said, and some audiences really get into the show.
“The correctional facilities are probably some of the funnest productions, because it’s such a special treat for them,” she said. “People are engaged in the production, and in our Q and A sessions afterwards, they ask some really insightful questions.”
This is Shakespeare-in-the-Schools’ first trip to Stansbury High. Stallion Drama Director Glen Carpenter said he hopes the community takes advantage of the polished production coming so close to home.
“It’s something we’d like to do more often. It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “It’s a perfect event for the whole family, so I’m hoping people take advantage of the family passes we offer and come and join us.”
Tickets for the performance are $3 each in advance for general admission (and $5 when purchased the day of the show) and $3 for children 12 and under in advance (and $4 the day of the show). A family pass of six tickets is available for $11 in advance (and $15 when purchased the day of the show), and can be purchased at stalliondrama.org.