A historic production of Shakespeare’s popular comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, will be presented at the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, directed by Tara Notcutt and featuring an all-female cast and creative team. Award-winning director Notcutt is making history with something never before seen on a South African stage: an all-female version of a Shakespeare play. She leads some of South Africa’s most celebrated actresses in a version of The Taming of the Shrew like it has never been seen before: a meeting of classic text with modern twists, including lip-synching, 90s fashion, and an all-female cast playing men and playing women, supported by an all-female creative team. This production also makes history as Notcutt becomes the 5th women in 61 years to direct a Shakespearian production at Maynardville. We were invited to attend the cast’s first day of rehearsals and get a sneak peak at this groundbreaking production.
Theatre-maker and performer Dara Beth describes herself as “first and foremost an angry, Jewish feminist”. She is one half of the cabaret duo Plumsong, which she has been performing as since 2011 with her mom and fellow performer, Sharyn Seidel. A recent UCT graduate, Dara has written and performed in Just a Song and a Dance with co-performer Sharyn at the Alexander Bar and the National Arts Festival. Dara has also worked as a stage manager on Wessel Pretorius’ Klara Maas se Hart is Gebreek and Die Ontelbare 48, Ameera Conrad’s Reparation and Jon Keevy’s The Underground Library. Dara also makes up one third of The Furies, a womxn-centric artistic co-op, who are responsible for presenting her latest original piece, Nasty Womxn, which makes its return to the Alexander Bar for a limited engagement following its triumphant success at the end of last year. Continue reading