Margo Murphy-Gross – Stage Manager
Today’s rehearsal started with a conversation about women using manipulation in different ways and what those different methods of manipulation mean. In the case of “Taming” Bianca’s manipulation seems to be a survival method rather than an act of malice. This conversation led to a conversation about survival v. Flirtation. When we took our break the conversation became more serious and led to some conversation about what it means to be female is today’s society. A big thing that came up was peoples’ perception on breasts. A lot of us have had interactions where people measure our happiness with our femininity based on how “curvy” we are. But not just our bodies but how we “use” them. Are we less feminine if we don’t flirt, or use push up bras? Though this is not a group of people who buy into that we are all being held to that standard when we are out in the world. Though we have come a long way since Shakespeare’s England these same dynamics still exist the difference between Bianca who has learned to flirt and Katharina who has reacted to the world around her with rage. It’s not that one of them is bad or one method is worse or better. But the bare bones of being female is that we still have to make a choice around our behavior we will be a shrew or not? Maybe this is a choice that we make for how we deal with everything in the outside world or a choice have to make and remake in every new location and group. Do you smile at the man in the deli who calls you honey, or do you tell him that you aren’t his honey? Do you keep walking when someone grab your ass or do you say something? Can you accept that free drink or no? What is safe and what isn’t? It seems to be that it all breaks down into the question of safety, and then breaks down into what does safety mean? In a sense when Katharina bows to Petruchio’s will isn’t she making the choice that she needs to, to be safe? And in a sense looking at what her choices were isn’t safety the closest to happiness in that world? And how far removed really is that aspect of that world from our world?