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Classroom Activities: The Taming of the Shrew

Be an Artist

Draw a picture of Kate and Petruchio when they first meet. Draw a picture of them at the end of the play. Make sure the pictures show how their feelings about one another have changed.

Design the Set

The Utah Shakespearean Festival’s 2010 education touring production of The Taming of the Shrew was set in the Wild West. Its 2008 main stage production was set in 1948 Italy, and the 2015 Adams production was set in Shakespeare’s time. Discuss other places and times you could set the play. As a class draw pictures of what the set for the opening scene would look like in a medieval castle, in a big modern city, or in ancient China.

Use the Script

As a class create, or find in the text, one line from the beginning, one from the middle, and one from the end of the play that sums up each of the main character’s attitudes during that section of the play (three lines for Kate, Petruchio, Baptista, Bianca, Lucentio, and Hortensio). Have students in the class speak the lines aloud in order to express the various attitudes.

Shakespearean Insults

The play is full of colorful insults. Make a list of those you can find within the text. Examples include minion, foolish knave, rascal, horeson villain, twangling jack, and beetle-headed, flap-ear’d knave. Have students create their own insults using animal, pop-culture, and even technological imagery. Have them share the best examples they come up with.

You’re the Actor

Examine the fight scene between Bianca and Kate. Do you get the feeling this isn’t the first time this has happened? Look for clues about the roots of their arguments. Brainstorm ideas on how they could overcome their differences and become friends. Explore the power of matching words and action by having students read the scene aloud with different feelings (sweetness, anger, humor, etc.) behind the words.

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

Make a list of Kate’s character traits. What does she do that make people call her a shrew? Make a list of famous and infamous women. Do these women share Kate’s traits? Discuss how/if Kate has changed at the end of the play. Did she really change, or did the way people see her change?

Utah Shakespeare Festival
Welcome to the Utah Shakespeare Festival. We hope you enjoy this Study Guide, but while you’re here you may want to explore the Festival a bit further. You can learn about this Tony Award-winning theatre, our plays, and so much more by visiting our home page.

What's On

The Taming of the Shrew

June 19 - September 7, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Henry VIII

June 17 - September 5, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing

June 21 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

The Mountaintop

July 13 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

The 39 Steps

June 22 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

The Winter's Tale

June 18 - September 6, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Silent Sky

July 12 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2023 www.bard.org Cedar City, Utah