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Wise Family Theatre to premiere shrewd Shakespearean production

Ruby Cerino
“The Taming of the Shrew” will open Oct. 17 at the Wise Family Theater.

The UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance will be hosting their first play of the semester, “The Taming of the Shrew,” which will open on Oct. 17 at the Wise Family Theatre.

“The play will absolutely be a success, the center section and front row is already sold out,” said Vanessa Keyser, actress and theater administrator for the El Paso Playhouse. “A lot of people come out just for Shakespeare’s name. The modernizing (of the story) will appeal to a wider group.”

“The Taming of the Shew” is a comedic play within a play written by William Shakespeare. The Wise Family Theatre will be presenting an updated version of the play that takes place in the 1960s with an Italian spin, instead of more than 400 years ago like the original version, directed by Chuck Gordon, associate professor of theater and dance.

“I think every performance of this play is unique in their own way, but this is an automatic conflict with the nature of the show, taking place during the women’s rights movement with the way women are treated in the play,” said actor and junior theater major Abel Garcia. “I think this has a deeper meaning because of that.”

The department began working on the play during the second week of the fall 2014 school semester for four hours each day, six days a week. The actors are unpaid and many choose to be a part of the play for acting experience, for their future careers or just for fun.

“The experience of it is more useful than getting paid for it. It’s an opportunity to practice what we want to do for the real world,” Keyser said. “(What I like most about theater is) stepping outside of yourself and representing a different person or expressing a side of your personality that you may not get to show very often. To bring reactions out of the audience and get a full house laugh or cry directly from something you have done on stage by yourself or with a partner is absolutely amazing.”

The theater department will be presenting several other performances at the Wise Family Theatre throughout the year. Beginning Nov. 3, the department will begin working on their next piece, “A Christmas Carol,” to be presented beginning on Dec. 14. A large amount of the actors’ practice will take place during finals week.

“Our seventh day of the week is for homework and our personal lives, we don’t get to rest,” actor and junior theater major Patrick Marshall said. “If there was a day between Saturday and Sunday, that’s where we’d rest.”

Tickets cost $9 for UTEP students, $11 for UTEP faculty and staff, senior citizens, military, groups of ten people or larger, UTEP alumni (with an alumnus identification card) and non-UTEP students. General public tickets cost $13. Italian restaurant, Bella Napoli, located at 6331 North Mesa St., is partnering with UTEP’s theater department. Customers who visit the restaurant with a ticket stub will receive a free desert. This offer is valid from Oct. 17 to Oct. 30.

Tickets may be purchased at any TicketMaster location or at the Department of Theatre and Dance. All shows are on sale. Buy-one-get-one-free tickets may also be purchased with an appropriate ID on certain nights. Call 747-
for more information.

Joseph Esposito may be reached at [email protected].

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Wise Family Theatre to premiere shrewd Shakespearean production