The Taming of the Shrew

June 5 – September 21 · BMO Mainstage

The 2007 ‘spaghetti western’ version of The Taming of the Shrew – one of Bard’s most beloved productions – is the inspiration behind this hilarious Wild-West love story, where two fierce kindred spirits finally meet their match in each other.  Petruchio, the sharpest-shooting cowboy in the West meets Kate, the prickliest gal in Padua, and their throw-down contest of wills and wits will leave you laughing out loud as they bicker and battle their way towards a splendid, healing love.

Directed by Lois Anderson (Pericles, 2016; Lysistrata, 2018). Inspired by Miles Potter.

Approximate run time (including intermission; subject to change): 2hrs 45min
Advisory: Sounds of gunshots; scenes with non-toxic water-based haze. 

Production Sponsor

Photo Credit: Andrew McNee as Petruchio & Jennifer Lines as Kate  Photo & Image Design: Emily Cooper


Director's Notes

Padua City, 1870s.

This is the story of a woman. A woman named Katherine Minola. It’s the story of a journey. The journey towards identity for a woman who lives in a fictional western town, striving to define itself in a new America.

This is an aspiring town, where you either integrate, or you are pushed outside. A woman who doesn’t follow the path of wife-hood and respectability has few options. (Let’s remember that women didn’t even get the vote in the United States until 1920.)

This is the story of a woman who rails against the status quo. A woman who knows what she doesn’t want her life to be, but has no options, and is unable to see a path forward. A woman labelled “shrew” and “devil” and “devil’s dam” because she is different.

Town and woman are pitted against each other.

This is also the story of a man, Petruchio, who lives by the code “frolic”. A man who pulls into town and meets this extraordinary woman.

This is the story of how this man and this woman fall in love, and then slowly get to know each other, through misunderstandings,
and mis-haps. It’s a complex love story and we in the audience root for them. We watch them battle, spar and provoke each other until, exhausted, they discover that they are stronger together. Together they can change the world.

We acknowledge that in the burgeoning American West, there are many stories we could tell about persons, and diverse communities, who were pushed aside. This is only one story, of one woman.

Many thanks to Mara Gottler, Cory Sincennes and Gerald King for helping to define this world through costumes, set and lights. Thank you to this extraordinary company, to Tai Amy Grauman, Apprentice Director and rodeo queen, and Jonathan Hawley Purvis, Choreographer. We acknowledge the late Marc Desormeaux, sound composer for Miles Potter’s original 2007 spaghetti western. Malcolm Dow had full access to Marc’s sound files which gloriously evoke the landscape of the West. Thanks to Shakespeare for taking an old tale from the Decameron and evolving it forward from a wife-beating story into a love story. This production takes the liberty of rolling it forward again.

Be bold, be messy, be your true self.

Lois Anderson

The Story

It’s the 1870s in the American West. Lucentio, a young gentleman from Pisa, arrives in Padua City to attend university. He loses interest in his studies when he sees Bianca, the daughter of Baptista Minola, one of the wealthiest women in Padua City. Petruchio has also just arrived in town and intends “to wive it wealthily in Padua.”

Lucentio isn’t the only man interested in the sweet and beautiful Bianca. Both Gremio and Hortensio are official suitors. There’s just one catch: no one can court Bianca until Baptista’s older daughter Katherine (Kate) is married! Unfortunately for the suitors, Kate is renowned as the town “shrew.” She’s infamous for her rude manners and talent for destruction, and no one wants to marry her. Overhearing that Bianca needs a tutor, Lucentio and his servant Tranio switch places; Tranio poses as Lucentio while Lucentio disguises himself as a tutor in order to get into the Minola household and woo Bianca.

Petruchio learns of Kate’s large dowry and resolves to marry her. He is intrigued by her forbidding reputation. When they meet, they immediately go head-to-head in a battle of wits and are evenly matched. Petruchio tells everyone that he and Kate are in love, and a wedding is arranged for Sunday. Petruchio arrives late for the wedding and behaves outrageously. After the ceremony, he whisks Kate away to his property in the desert, where she finds a gang of outsiders and a whole lot of dirt! Kate and Petruchio continue to rail at each other, until they begin to reach an understanding, finally joining forces as a pair of gamesters. They run into Lucentio’s father, who has come to see how his son’s studies are going in Padua City.

Meanwhile, the disguised Lucentio wins Bianca’s heart and the two elope. The marriage is discovered, and their respective families are forced to come to an agreement. Petruchio and Kate return home to celebrate the newlyweds, and everyone is shocked by Kate’s transformation into an obedient wife. But with a few tricks up her sleeves, Kate is determined to shake things up in Padua City.

Cast & Creative Team

Lois AndersonDirector

Lois Anderson


Bard Direction: Pericles and Lysistrata. Bard roles: Paulina, The Winter's Tale; Viola, Twelfth Night; Kate, The Taming of the Shrew; Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well; Rosalind, As You Like It; and Mistress Overdone, Measure For Measure. Other Direction: Arts Club, Rough House, Mitch and Murray, Leaky Heaven, SFU and UBC. Cocreation with: Cirque Poule, Flying Blind, and Leaky Heaven Circus. Awards: eight Jessies (including Best Director, Pericles), Betty Mitchell Award, Ovation Award (Best Direction Musical, Fun Home), and Sydney J. Risk Emerging Director Award.

Ghazal AzarbadMayor's Wife / Housemaid / Waitress / Haberdasher / Dancer Girl / Widow

Ghazal Azarbad

Mayor's Wife / Housemaid / Waitress / Haberdasher / Dancer Girl / Widow

Ghazal is an actor and singer based in Toronto. Her recent credits include Wedding at Aulis, Innocence Lost and La Bête (Soulpepper); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Arts Club); and Entrances and Exits: An Improvised Farce (Howland/ Bad Dog). Ghazal is a graduate of the UBC BFA program, the Soulpepper Academy, and the recipient of the National Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Acting. She is thrilled to be joining Bard this year.

Heather BarrApprentice Stage Manager

Heather Barr

Apprentice Stage Manager

Heather is thrilled to be working at Bard on the Beach this summer. Her recent stage management credits include Marine Life (apprentice, Ruby Slippers); Goodnight Desdemona (United Players); The Ones We Leave Behind (apprentice, VACT); Cain and Abel (The Biting School); Blackbird (Vancouver Fringe); and Camera Obscura (apprentice, frank theatre). She is a recent graduate of Studio 58, and the recipient of the David Pritchard Scholarship for outstanding achievement in stage management.

Scott BellisGremio

Scott Bellis


When we started Bard 30 years ago, we were a bunch of young actors who knew nothing. We did everything. We put up the tents; worked the box office; hung the lights. We slept overnight to guard the equipment. We got rained on a lot. I’ve been fortunate to play some of the greatest plays in the English language on these unceded lands. After almost 100 productions, we know what we’re doing now. I hope you enjoy it.

Kate BesworthBianca Minola

Kate Besworth

Bianca Minola

Previously at Bard: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, and Timon of Athens. Thank you for coming to see theatre!

Kimira BhikumAssistant Set Designer

Kimira Bhikum

Assistant Set Designer

Kimira is an MFA graduate student from UBC. Her research explores the use of virtual reality in the creative set design process to enhance communication between a Director and a Designer. Originally from South Africa, she attained a bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts Technology where she specialized in prop-making and scenic painting. She has worked in both film and theatre industries and will continue to master her skills as an artist.

Stephen CourtenayProduction Stage Manager

Stephen Courtenay

Production Stage Manager

Following last season’s incredible fusion of live Beatles music, comic mania, and dangerous drama, Stephen is excited to participate in this summer’s brilliant reexamination of the thought-provoking The Taming of the Shrew and the finely crafted homage to the genius at the center of Shakespeare in Love. Stephen proudly recalls 52 Shakespearean offerings and projects with the revered Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Calgary, Studio 58/Green Thumb, Touchstone Theatre, Electric Company, and Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble.

Andrew CowndenTrain Conductor / Pedant

Andrew Cownden

Train Conductor / Pedant

This is Andrew’s fourth season with Bard on the Beach. Recent credits include Launce, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Launcelot Gobbo, The Merchant of Venice (Bard); Julian Marsh, 42nd Street (TUTS); The Emcee, Cabaret (Royal City Musical Theatre); Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Carousel Theatre); and Lopakhin, The Orchard (After Chekhov) (Arts Club). He is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts. @AndrewCownden

Victor DolhaiSheriff / Phillip

Victor Dolhai

Sheriff / Phillip

Victor’s second season with Bard. Bard: Romeo and Juliet, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Elsewhere: productions with Pi Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Banff Centre, Blue Bridge Repertory, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Theatre NorthWest, Shakespeare in the Ruff, The Belfry, Electric Company Theatre, Persephone Theatre, Patrick Street Productions, ITSAZOO, Kaleidoscope, Kokoro Dance, and SNAFU Dance Theatre. Victor has appeared in 21 cabarets with Atomic Vaudeville, and in three seasons at the Stratford Festival. Film/TV: Supernatural, Siren, Reboot: The Guardian Code, Raf, and Android Employed.

Malcolm DowSound Designer

Malcolm Dow

Sound Designer

Malcolm is an award-winning composer, sound designer and music producer with a background as a touring musician. Happy to return to Bard, he is honoured to be working with the compositions of a Canadian Legend for this production of Shrew! Select credits: The Winters Tale, Pericles, and Comedy of Errors (Bard); Perestroika and The Graduate (Arts Club); Mortified (Studio 58); Equivocation (Persephone); Salt Baby (The Belfry); Le Soulier and Unite Modele (Seizième).

Austin EckertCowboy / Curtis / Pony Express Rider

Austin Eckert

Cowboy / Curtis / Pony Express Rider

Austin is excited to be back with Bard on the Beach for his third season. Previous Bard productions include Much Ado About Nothing; The Winter’s Tale; As You Like It; and Macbeth. Recent theatre: Arts Club, Belfry Theatre, Western Canada Theatre, frank theatre, Mayfield Dinner Theatre. Recent TV: Supernatural, The Magicians, The Flash, Colony, Narcoleap, Snowpiercer, and Project Bluebook. Austin is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts. For GG.

Celeste EnglishAssistant Lighting Designer

Celeste English

Assistant Lighting Designer

Celeste English is a lighting designer born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Design credits include; Michif Medicines (Vni Dansi), The Virtual Full Light of Day (Electric Theatre Company), OW (Mascall Dance), The Sea (Slamming Door Collective). Assistant Design credits include; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Arts Club), Kleptocracy (Arena Stage), The Enemy (Firehall). This will be her fifth season with Bard, having previously worked with both the Operations and Education departments. She is a graduate of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.

Tara Cheyenne FriedenbergMovement Coach

Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg

Movement Coach

Tara is an award-winning creator, performer and Artistic Director of Tara Cheyenne Performance. Tara is known for her unique and dynamic hybrid of dance, comedy and theatre. When she isn’t coaching, teaching and creating innovative movement for theatre, she is performing her highly acclaimed physical-theatre around the world (highlights: DanceBase/Edinburgh, South Bank Centre/London, On the Boards/Seattle USA, High Performance Rodeo/Calgary etc.). Tara lives in East Vancouver with her husband composer Marc Stewart and their son Jasper.

Charlie GallantCowboy / Bartender / Nicholas / Tailor

Charlie Gallant

Cowboy / Bartender / Nicholas / Tailor

After 13 months of playing anguished characters like Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter (Theatre Calgary) and Edmund in Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Stratford Festival), Charlie is thrilled to return for his sixth season at Bard in playful roles. Having worked across Canada in theatre/film/TV, Bard remains a favourite company of Charlie’s since his debut in the original spaghetti-western The Taming of the Shrew in 2007. A musician, writer, director, filmmaker, and Studio 58 grad.

Mara GottlerCostume Designer

Mara Gottler

Costume Designer

A founding member and Artistic Associate at Bard on the Beach, Mara has designed over seventy productions spanning its thirty years. Recent design credits include Coriolanus (Stratford Festival) and Coriolan (Theatre du Nouveau Monde), both directed by Robert Lepage. Local work includes Iron Peggy (International Children’s Festival/Boca del Lupo) and Jitters (Arts Club). She is a World Showcase design contributor and an instructor at Studio 58.

Tai Amy GraumanDirecting Apprentice

Tai Amy Grauman

Directing Apprentice

Tai Amy Grauman is a Métis actor, director and playwright from Ardrossan, Alberta. Tai recently received this year’s Jessie Richardson award for most promising newcomer and was Vancouver’s Mayor’s Emerging Theatre Artist of 2015. She is currently Savage Society’s Artist in Residence. Tai is currently writing three plays commissioned by Savage Society, Nightswimming and Axis Theatre. Tai has a BFA in Acting from UBC with a minor in First Nations Studies.

Alaia HamerAssistant Costume Designer

Alaia Hamer

Assistant Costume Designer

Alaia Hamer is an emerging theatre designer located in Vancouver, BC. Recent projects include assistant costume design on Sweat, The Humans (Artsclub), costume for C’mon Angie (Touchstone), assistant costume for Macbeth (Bard on the Beach), set design for She Kills Monsters (UBC), associate costume design for Onegin (Arts Club); as well as a variety of small shows. Alaia is a graduate of the UBC Theatre Design program and holds a prior English literature degree.

Ming HudsonBiondella

Ming Hudson


This is Ming’s second season at Bard. Select performing credits include: Timon of Athens and Lysistrata (Bard); Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Theatre Replacement); Blisskrieg (Atomic Vaudeville); PostSecret: The Show (Firehall); Big Bad and Fall Away Home (Boca del Lupo); and The Penelopiad (Arts Club). This fall, she is producing/curating a new immersive theatrical experience called At Last. Ming is a graduate ofarthouse berlin (formally LISPA), holds an MA (Rose Bruford), and a BFA (UVic).

Gerald KingLighting Designer

Gerald King

Lighting Designer

Lighting designer at Bard for 17 seasons. Gerald’s recent credits: Matilda (RCMT, Citadel, Arts Club); Chariots of Fire (The Grand Theatre); Carried Away On The Crest of A Wave (NAC); The 39 Steps (Circle Bright); Liberation Days (Theatre Calgary); Othello, The Merry Widow, Faust, Dead Man Walking, and Evita, (Vancouver Opera); Beauty and the Beast, Jitters, and Million Dollar Quartet (Arts Club); Crazy for You (Citadel); The Book of Love (Kokoro Dance); The Ones We Leave Behind (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre); and Faerie Queen (Royal Winnipeg Ballet).

Jennifer LinesKatherine Minola

Jennifer Lines

Katherine Minola

Jennifer has performed in nearly 40 productions in her 19 seasons with Bard. Favourite roles include Ariel, Beatrice, Cleopatra, Paulina, Hermione, Emilia, Olivia, Tamora, Cressida and many more! Recent theatre: Forget About Tomorrow, Hand to God, It’s a Wonderful Life, High Society, and The Real Thing (Arts Club); The Great Gatsby, and Beyond Eden (Theatre Calgary); and Après Moi (Ruby Slippers). She is the recipient of two Jessie Awards and has a BFA in Acting (UVic).

Anton LipovetskyHortensio

Anton Lipovetsky


This is Anton’s fifth season with Bard. Some of his previous roles include Posthumus/Cloten, Cymbeline; King James I, Equivocation; and Tybalt, Romeo and Juliet. Other stages Anton has performed on: National Arts Centre, Luminato Festival, Arts Club, Carousel Theatre, Firehall, and The Belfry. Anton is also an award-winning musical theatre songwriter and is currently at work on three commissions. He is a graduate of Studio 58 and the Stratford Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

Alison MatthewsHead Voice and Text Coach

Alison Matthews

Head Voice and Text Coach

Alison is Head of Coaching at Bard, where she has led voice and text work since 2009. She is a founding faculty member of the Arts Club Actor’s Intensive and has taught at the Citadel Banff Professional Theatre Program for five years. A professional actor for over twenty-five years, Alison works in radio, television, and film. MFA (specializing in Voice), University of British Columbia; Associate Diploma in Drama & Speech, Trinity College London.

Susinn McFarlenBaptista Minola

Susinn McFarlen

Baptista Minola

Susinn is a multiple Jessie Award-winner who has worked in theatres across the country. Best known for touring Canada with Mom’s The Word, Menopositive The Musical!, and Michele Riml’s smash-hit Sexy Laundry, Susinn is thrilled to be back at Bard. She is one of the founders of Wet Ink Collective. Her first play, Since You Left Us, was among Vancouver Presents’ top 10 plays of 2014.

Andrew McNeePetruchio

Andrew McNee


Andrew McNee is a Vancouver born and raised actor in Theatre, Film and Television, and Animation. His theatre work has taken him on tour across Canada, to Europe and to the UK. Recent screen credits include Public Schooled, Grand Unified Theory and Mega Man. When not playing make believe for a living, he spends his time with his wife Karen and wrestling his rascally kids Finn and Thomas. Andrew is a graduate of Studio 58.

Paul Moniz de SáMayor / Piano Player / Gregory / Vincentio

Paul Moniz de Sá

Mayor / Piano Player / Gregory / Vincentio

For Bard: The Merchant of Venice, Two Gentlemen of Verona (2017); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure For Measure (2006); Macbeth (2004); and Pericles (2003). Other theatre credits: Guys and Dolls, It’s All True and Oh What A Lovely War. Screen credits include Arrow, The Murders, iZombie, Timeless, and The BFG. He received Jessie Awards for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Overcoat and Jessie nominations for Driving Miss Daisy. Paul is the Artistic Director of Theatre and Music at Arts Umbrella and a graduate of Studio 58.

Rebecca MulvihillAssistant Stage Manager

Rebecca Mulvihill

Assistant Stage Manager

This is Rebecca’s fifth season with Bard on the Beach. Recent Stage Management credits include Redbirds (Solo Collective); Topdog/Underdog and The (Post)Mistress (Arts Club); Sultans of the Street (Carousel); and Selfie (Théâtre La Seizième). Recent ASM credits include The Shoplifters, King Charles III, Good People, and Educating Rita (Arts Club). Rebecca has had the opportunity to travel with shows around B.C. and as far away as Norway. She is a graduate of the University of Victoria.

Chirag NaikTranio

Chirag Naik


Chirag is a Vancouver-based actor. Selected theatre credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest (Bard); carried away on the crest of a wave (NAC), Cranked and Showdown (Green Thumb); Mustard and Peter and the Starcatcher (Arts Club); Yoga Play (Gateway); and Après Moi (Ruby Slippers). Film credits include Limetown, No Tomorrow, and Rogue. Chirag is a graduate of Studio 58 and the recipient of the Sydney J. Risk Award.

Kamyar PazandehLucentio

Kamyar Pazandeh


Kamyar is delighted to be back at Bard for his third season. Select credits include Pericles, Pericles; Gratiano, The Merchant of Venice; and Turio, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Bard on the Beach); Gaston, Beauty and the Beast; Tom, The Piano Teacher; and Tom, Jitters (Arts Club); and Smudge, Forever Plaid (Mayfield). Kamyar is a Jessie Award-nominee and the recipient of the Koerner Arts Award. He is a graduate of Studio 58.

Alana Hawley PurvisVoice and Text Coach

Alana Hawley Purvis

Voice and Text Coach

Alana is an actor and voice & performance coach, working with institutions across North and Central America including: The Stratford Festival, University of Alberta, Douglas College, the Citadel Banff Professional Program, The Speech Studio and Es Artes!. She is a graduate of Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting (MFA) and The Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. She has performed with various theatre companies including: The Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Citadel Theatre, and Theatre Calgary.

Jonathan Hawley PurvisFight Director and Choreographer

Jonathan Hawley Purvis

Fight Director and Choreographer

Jonathan has worked across Canada as an actor and fight director for both the stage and screen. He is a member of Fight Directors Canada and the Nordic Stage Fight Society in Europe. Last year he choreographed fights and dance for Macbeth and As You Like It at Bard. Other theatres he has worked for include: Citadel, Arts Club, Chemainus, St. Lawrence Shakespeare, Theatre Calgary, Thousand Islands Playhouse, and Concrete.

Jason SakakiPriest / Cowboy / Nathaniel

Jason Sakaki

Priest / Cowboy / Nathaniel

Jason is thrilled to be making his Bard debut this summer! Recent theatre credits include The Matchmaker (Arts Club); 13 the Musical (Bring on Tomorrow Co); Bah! Humbug! (2017-2018 Remount, SFUW/Vancouver Moving Theatre); and The King and I (Gateway Theatre). Film/TV credits include Mech X4, iZombie, and Spontaneous (Upcoming). He would like to thank the Bard team, Joel Garner, Sara and Team PT, and his parents and grandparents for all their support.

Cory SincennesSet Designer

Cory Sincennes

Set Designer

Cory is an award-winning designer, currently residing in Charlottetown, PEI. His designs have received both national and international recognition having worked throughout Canada, Europe and Russia. He holds an MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta. Recent work: Anne of Green Gables, Evangeline (Charlottetown Festival); Liberation Days, Peter and the Starcatcher (WCT); Next to Normal, Mary Poppins, Crazy For You, (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre); and Romeo and Juliet (Citadel).

Joel WirkkunenGrumio

Joel Wirkkunen


Select theatre credits include The Audience, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Odd Couple, School For Scandal, and A Flea In Her Ear (Arts Club); Detroit (Mitch & Murray Productions); Of Mice and Men and The Overcoat (Vancouver Playhouse); Grace, Sled, and Cherry Docs (Touchstone Theatre); Richard III, Henry IV, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, and (Assistant Director) Lysistrata (Bard on the Beach).

Critics & Patrons Say

Lots of fun little parts of the production. Talked about it all the way home!

Cathy, Bard patron

[Bard on the Beach’s] staging of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ was outstanding. Petruchio is surely one of the most challenging roles in Shakespeare, and Andrew McNee does a virtuoso job.

Robert, Bard patron

Pure entertainment ever-so ebulliently delivered…”

Baird Blackstone, BrokenLegReviews

Bard’s Spaghetti Western ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ is everything a retelling should be.

Gabrielle McLaren, The Peak

My first experience of [Bard on the Beach] last night with a western version of Taming of the Shrew was incredible! It’s settled: I’m coming back.

Sarah, Bard patron

‘The Taming of the Shrew’ was outstanding. So much fun. Jennifer Lines stole the show with her wonderful energy.

Susan, Bard patron