"Shrew" / "Kate"
Posted by: Whistler 04:45 am EDT 03/11/19
In reply to: re: Um... - Chromolume 11:47 pm EDT 03/10/19

I was just looking at the script of "Shrew" again -- I don't have a script of "Kate" handy -- and I'd forgotten how much of "Shrew" often gets cut to make the script playable today. And maybe it always has.

The first time I realized directors and productions cut Shakespearean scripts was in high school, when we compared the original script to what we were seeing in a movie. And, OK, that was a movie, and our teacher pointed out that play scripts are usually cut for movies because the originals are too talky. But then we studied "Shrew" and went to see a local college production and half the script was gone.

Maybe for lots of reasons -- to fit high school students' attention spans -- but sometimes it's the director's choice: I recently saw a production of what should have been billed as "Some of Hamlet" because it was only an hour long without intermission. At the discussion afterwards, the very experienced director explained that he'd always liked parts of "Hamlet" but felt the whole script was too academic and generally a mess. So he did the parts he liked. I've got to admit it played well, but it still wasn't close to any of perhaps a dozen versions I've seen of "Hamlet" -- including the Mel Gibson movie.

As for "Shrew " / "Kate" -- I've definitely seen more productions of "Shrew" than of "Kate," even though the former seems far less frequently performed. Maybe that's why I hunt it out: just to see if and how the actors and director have managed to make it playable. So maybe that's why I'm not surprised at the word change. And maybe someone with a academic background -- almost any dramaturg -- suggested it, based on experience. Also, while I was looking at Kate's speech in "Shrew" I was reminded of how much of it Cole Porter cut for his song.

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