2009: The Taming of the Shrew

A play within a play …

Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker, is found asleep by a lord returning from the hunt.  When a group of players arrives, the lord decides to deceive Sly into thinking he is a lord and a play is to be performed before him.  The players perform The Taming of The Shrew.

The merchant Baptista arrives in Padua with his daughters, the violent Katherina and the demure Bianca.  By decree, Katherina must be married off before Bianca is available for marriage.  Petruchio arrives - he is seeking a wife with a substantial dowry.  He disguises himself as a tutor to Bianca to press suit to Katherina.  Petruchio encounters the feisty Katherina but determines to subdue her and make her his wife.  Obedient to her father's wishes, Katherina marries and is subject to countless humiliations when she reaches Petruchio's home.  The play ends with the apparent submission of the shrew.  But is it?

Sly is rudely awoken from his drunken sleep and brings us back to reality.  Was it all a dream?  Or wishful thinking?