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Cameron-Mitchell Ware as Hortensio, Khiry Armstead as Grumio and Devyn Tyler as Katharina in 'The Taming of the Shrew'

In an effort to bring Shakespeare's work to audiences who may seldom experience it, the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, collaborating with the Cripple Creek Theatre, for the past month has been presenting a 90-minute, ensemble-driven production of “The Taming of the Shrew” at Bridge House, Grace House, The New Orleans Women and Children’s Shelter, and the Treme Community Center.

“We are inspired by great artists and theater companies around the country,” said Chaney Tullos, director of operations of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival, “who are reaching out to underserved audiences — such as Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis. We partnered with Cripple Creek Theatre because they have a similar mission.”

Emile Whelan, co-artistic director of Cripple Creek Theatre, directs an “original staging practices” production featuring a cast of nine actors and live music by Brian Coogan, best known for his work with Pretty Lights.

“Original staging practices” attempt to recreate the theatrical conditions in which Shakespeare’s plays were performed in his day, Tullos said.

"The audience is much closer to the action and is directly addressed," he said. "Costumes are Elizabethan-inspired, and we’ve enlisted a musician to play live — similarly to what they may have done in Shakespeare’s company."

Starting Friday, the play will be presented more formally at Lupin Theatre on the campus of Tulane University. It continues through June 18.


'Taming of the Shrew'

WHEN: June 2-18

WHERE: Lupin Theatre at Tulane University



Bruce Burgun is a retired theater professor from Indiana University and a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.