Much Ado About “The Shrew”
by Cate Murway

“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
William Shakespeare

Will lived for 52 years and in just 23 of his years [1590-1613], the English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the foremost dramatist of his time, is attributed with writing 38 plays, sonnets and poems.
‘Taming of the Shrew’ is “one of my favorite comedies”, shared Fugue Films partner and Borough resident, Gina Marie Andreoli. Gina is an extremely gifted independent filmmaker who focuses her talents mostly on directing, producing and costume design. Her Fugue Films is a video production and photography studio, educational space, and creative workshop located in the impressive industrial/ commercial Grundy Commons complex.
As head of the Villa Joseph Marie H.S. Drama Department, Gina has now set another new stage in the private Catholic college-preparatory school for young women.

Join the JEMS for the 1593 William Shakespeare classic ‘Taming of the Shrew’, an examination, presumably during the Italian Renaissance, of the psychology of relationships where love in the play is often mitigated by economic and social concerns.
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”  William Shakespeare

The talented cast of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ is prepared to kick off ‘Fine Arts Week’ after their “always challenging, long intense rehearsals” for the “fast paced, fun, slapstick/physical style” Shakespearean play.
The “very accessible language is clearer, so there’s no problem understanding it.”
"Honey-tongued" Shakespeare had invented thousands of words, often combining or contorting Latin, French and native roots.
Gina Andreoli designed the traditional Italian Renaissance costumes and coordinated the backdrop painting marathon with artist/friend Penelope Fox and VJM students, Delia Landers, Maddie Drake, Kerri Czekner and Katie Bratspis for this performance with “very little set and very little tech”.

The lead roles of the upper-class young maidens-in-waiting who smoothly attempt to circumvent or deny their socially defined roles are VJM juniors, thespians, Danielle Nicole Rigau and Delia Rose Landers. They are much like the North Pole and South Pole portraying different characteristics and natures and they both display extraordinary verbal wit.
One of the lone male actors, Rob Gentile, stated “Gina is an amazing director and it’s a great experience to work with such a talented bunch of kids who are performing just as well as some professionals.” He portrays Petruchio who wishes for nothing more than a woman with an enormous dowry with a goal to “to wive and thrive.”  Rob is an improv actor and student, who is also a coach for the Philadelphia Improv Theatre and the head writer of Temple SMASH live, Temple University's favorite live sketch Comedy Show.
Central Bucks High School- West student, A.J. Treon commands the role of the good-natured and intrepid Lucentio.

Gina, as director and teacher, always has great expectations. She really pushes her students to give their very best every day, and that consistently shows in their performances.
Her students learn a basic overview of the history of theater, dramatic literature, and scenography through study units beginning with the ancient Greek theater and moving through the modern era. They learn acting techniques through movement and vocal exercises, improvisation, and character development. They are trained to aim high!

Danielle Rigau is endowed with the wonderful characteristic of multi-talents and versatility.

She adeptly portrays the sharp-tongued, quick-tempered, intelligent and independent Katherine “Kate” Minola – the "shrew" of the title, the eldest daughter of Baptista Minola, a lord in Padua.
“If I be waspish, best beware my sting.”
The fiery, spirited Kate’s temper is notorious and it is thought no man would ever wish to marry her and her knack for verbal repartee and ability to call it like she sees it reveals her incredible wit and intelligence.
“Katherine is a crazy, obnoxious character and she’s really great! She has a way of conveying her message. This play is really good and really funny and connects with the audience.”

Danielle is pleased with her purple petticoat corseted costume with the gold detailing and the ornate metal necklace. “Gina does an amazing job on costumes!”
Danielle’s first stage experience was as ‘Cinderella’s’ wicked step mother in the 7th grade. She also played this role in last year’s Villa Joseph Marie performance.
Danielle has proven that she is committed to a high degree of excellence. She is gifted, without egoism, an incredibly brilliant pianist and proficient writer for the VJM Literary magazine, “Quintessence”. She has also earned a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and teaches a sword class with dedication and her high standards.
The sciences and medical school intrigue her. Danielle’s aspiration is to be a dermatologist and her dream schools are Ivy League University of Penn and world-class Johns Hopkins University.
Villa Joseph Marie has been the perfect fit. “I saw that everyone felt comfortable. There is a ‘family environment’, it just feels like a home and I can be myself!”

Delia Landers is very ambitious, talented and creative.

Her mother started her in the Upper Moreland Township acting camp while she was still in pre-school and “we made our own play in the workshop”. “I have always loved make believe and I would pretend I was the person in the novels that I read.” Her favorites have always been “princesses, dragons and Cinderella”.
Varied stage experiences have included ‘The Women’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, VJM’s Cabaret Night, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Cinderella’.
Delia now will portray the ingénue, Bianca, the younger sister of Katherine who is quite the opposite of that title character; soft-spoken, sweet, and unassuming.
“Bianca is a fun character, very reserved inside. She has an innocent look. I am working to perfect the facial. I am nothing like that!”
Delia thinks the play is “really funny. I love Shakespeare” and she truly appreciates Gina’s “very unique artistic style” and the fact that she “works on techniques”.

Delia’s goal is to pursue cultural studies, to work in politics, in the government. “A lawyer!”
She has traveled to El Salvador with The U.S. El Salvador Sister Cities Network and she plans to participate in an advocacy group that builds solidarity relationships and supports sustainable communities.
The public research McGill University in Montreal is her dream school.

Dana Gensel, who starred in Villa's fall musical ‘Cinderella’ will portray the very clownish Grumio, the servant to one of the most difficult characters in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, the loud, boisterous, eccentric, quick-witted Petruchio.

Heather Cole is the highly motivated choreographer/ movement teacher for this classic comedy. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University with a concentration in Acting/Theatre and Dance and she shares her passion of teaching the art of dance. 

Tickets are now available for the Villa Joseph Marie Dramatic Society's presentation of "The Taming of the Shrew." Show times are Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 27, 2014, at 2 p.m.  VJMHS 1180 Holland Road, Holland, PA.
Please contact Mary Rigau at 215.485.0212 or for your tickets.
Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for children, students, and seniors.
At the door, adults $10 and children, students, and seniors $5.

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Gina M. Andreoli