Kate Holland – Director
Tonight we are looking at the wooing scene between Hortensio, Lucentio and Bianca. This scene is so delicious, full of innuendo and wordplay. It’s also the scene where we see how powerful Bianca is. Unlike Katharina, Bianca has learned the all the rules of the gender game and is a virtuosic player. While staying completely sweet and charming throughout the scene, she displays an ironclad will and a fierce intelligence. She is actually not all that different from her “shrewish” sister — she’s just a much more adaptable player.
Does Katharina learn to play? Is that what Petruchio is teaching her?
What happens to women who can’t or won’t play the role that society has ordained that they play?
To the good ones, the kind and quiet and undemanding ones, much is given, as long as they are beautiful. Katharina is like the wicked stepsisters and Cinderella all in one — cut off your heel and toes to fit in a glass slipper, and as long as you never make a peep again, you can marry the Prince.
Reminds me of Brene Brown’s work on shame, and how women most often feel shame when they have failed to do everything perfectly, and still maintain composure. Never let them see you sweat. Backwards, in heels.
Have you ever felt shame associated with your gender? Looking back on your younger experiences what advice would you give yourself?