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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Brown Box Theatre brings ‘Shrew’ to Berlin

(Sept. 3, 2015) Brown Box Theatre’s annual stopover in Worcester County starts this weekend, as the Boston-based company presents William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” in Snow Hill, Berlin, Ocean City and Ocean Pines.
Berlin native Kyler Taustin founded Brown Box in 2010 with the intention of bringing talent from the Boston area back to coastal Maryland to perform Shakespeare plays.
This year, Taustin said he’s happy to present a comedy.
“We usually go back and forth [between comedy and drama], so it’s exciting to offer a fun experience for everyone, while tackling a play that many consider to be troubling and sexist,” he said.
As an added twist, Taustin said he’s cast nine women – and only one man – to underscore a central message of the play.
“We think that will really highlight the misogynistic and chauvinistic nature of Petruchio, who is the lead character in the play, who is played by the one man in the cast,” Taustin said. “That approach to the script is something that we’re really excited to be bringing to the shore, and it’s something that definitely makes this a unique production and something worth joining us for.
“If you’ve enjoyed what we’ve done in the past, this is definitely something that will offer a new twist to one of Shakespeare’s classic comedies that is relatively well known,” Taustin added.
Being a native of Berlin – as well as someone who has presented professional theatre in the small town for six years now – Taustin said the change in demographic during his productions has been palpable throughout the area.
“We can definitely see the growth of the interest in the work that we are doing … not only has our reach expanded, but the interest and desire has grown and become very exciting to see,” he said. “It’s invigorating to us, and it’s really our fuel to keep doing what we do.
“We’re committed to being the professional theatre company of an area that definitely doesn’t have one of its own,” he continued. “That is our mission, and it’s been really rewarding to see our patronage and our audience growing throughout the years. It’s an exciting thing to see, and it’s very rewarding for me, being from the area, to see the community grow and change and accept and crave even more of what we’re bringing down.”
With interest increasing, the company has also expanded, now bringing four productions to the area each year. The annual fall stopovers highlighting Shakespeare, however, remain the centerpiece.
Taustin said the message of the Brown Box Theatre during these particular productions is that Shakespeare is not something to fear.  
“It’s not something to worry about or to dislike,” he said. “The school has always made Shakespeare seem highly academic. This play, even more than many other Shakespeare plays that I have directed, is so much for the people.
“Not only is there a social commentary message for this production of Taming of the Shrew, but I think it is truly accessible to everyone,” Taustin added. “There is physical comedy, there is wordplay and so many great things to experience with this production. For both the Shakespeare expert and anyone who’s new to Shakespeare as live performance will realize this is something to truly enjoy and something to look forward to.”
All performances are free, open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Brown Box Theatre will perform The Taming of the Shrew in Snow Hill Sept. 4, at Sturgis Park, in Berlin Sept. 5 on Main Street, in Ocean City Sept. 6 at Sunset Park, in Ocean Pines Sept. 9 at White Horse Park, and again in Ocean City Sept. 9 at Northside Park.
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