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Character and Process Questions with Bruno Streck Rodrigues

Character Questions:

1. Pick three adjectives that describe your (major) character and explain why you chose them.

Playing Hortensio has been a very fun journey so far. In the beginning of the production, I asked Kat how she imagined Hortensio, and what I got back was something amongst the lines: Hortensio was the expected suitor for Bianca to marry in the beginning, yet she showed no interest. Figure out what that means. After reading the text and studying Hortensio, I came up with three key adjectives to describe him: childish, stupid and manipulative. Out of the three however, the one I play with the most is childish. He wants to marry rich, and preferably a pretty girl. It is a fairly easy objective, yet he insults the girl’s sister, he plots to marry her out to his weird friend Petrucchio, then he dresses himself as a schoolmaster well seen in music, yet he himself knows little to nothing about music. All those plans are set-up for failure. He has no backbone. He gives up easily. He does not have a lot of experience.

3. What physical/vocal choices have you made for this character and why?

The physical choices I made for Hortensio are also very straight up and a slightly high pitched voice. I believe that it shows how young and inexperienced he is, but also how highly he thinks of himself. I also like those aspects in the moments he tries to be imposing and threatening, such as when he first meeting Trannio. His height and his stature are threatening, yet his voice and childish behavior makes him look like a teenager that grew too fast for his mental side.

Process Questions:

4. What is your favorite Shakespearean "Original Practice" (audience contact, cross-gendered casting, live music and sound, etc.) and what exactly do you love about it?

Switching the focus to the production, I really am enjoying Shakespeare’s Original practices. Two things that I absolutely love is the audience contact and cross-gender casting. Though I don’t play any females in this production (just a male dressed as a female), when I performed Macbeth with Grand Valley, I played one of the witches, and that proved to be one of the most fun characters I have ever played, something that would not have been possible without this unusual type of casting. Talking straight at the audience has also been a lot of fun.

I have been having a lot of fun with Taming of the Shrew, and I hope to keep performing and enjoying myself. We have four more performances to go and I cannot wait to show the new audience a new show every day.

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