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Independent Shakespeare Co. to Stage 'La Dolce Vita' Adaptation of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, 7/24-8/29

This summer, visit a small Italian provincial, 1950's town, as INDEPENDENT SHAKESPEARE CO. brings a bit of "La Dolce Vita" as it presents its take one of Shakespeare's most loved comedies, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, directed by Independent Shakespeare Co.'s Managing Director David Melville. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will begin previews at THE GRIFFITH PARK FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL on Thursday, July 24 at 7pm and will open on Saturday, August 2 at 7:00pm and perform through Friday, August 29 at Old Zoo in Griffith Park. All ISC Summer Shakespeare productions are FREE to the public! THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will play in repertory with TWELFTH NIGHT or What You Will.

Baptista has a problem. His biggest job is to see his daughters married well. His youngest, Bianca, is a piece of cake: she's obedient, dutiful, and modest. However his eldest, Kate, just doesn't know her place. She's headstrong, opinionated, and prone to speaking her own mind. What's a father to do? His salvation appears in the form of Petruchio, a traveler with an eye on Kate's plentiful dowry. He uses every dirty trick in the book to tame her, but he just might find in the end that you can't keep a good woman down. Set on the coast of Italy in a provincial, 1950's town, this production brings a bit of "La Dolce Vita" to Griffith Park.

Comments Independent Shakespeare Co.'s Managing Director David Melville, "We've tackled all of the big comedies at the festival except The Taming of the Shrew. It's a big crowd pleaser but it comes with some complicated sexual politics! We're thrilled to bring this play to our audience because Melissa Chalsma and Luis Galindo were such a hit last year in Macbeth. Probably one of the best things we've done as a company. It's going to be so exciting to see what they do with Kate and Petruchio. We're looking to Federico Fellini for this production. Fellini is a very theatrical director and from a design point of view it's a great source to draw from - for The Taming of the Shrew we want to create a small community like the one portrayed in Amarcord with La Dolce Vita sexiness thrown in."


DAVID MELVILLE (Director) trained at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has appeared as an actor in London, Moscow and New York. He met his wife, Melissa Chalsma, while both were in a Broadway production of Hamlet with Ralph Fiennes and they co-founded the Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) in 1998. ISC began in New York, has toured Europe, and has settled in Los Angeles bringing free, quality classical theater for ten years with Shakespeare in the Park as well as classical and new work in ISC's indoor venue, the Independent Studio. David's acting ISC credits include the title roles in Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V, Richard II as well as Benedick, Leontes, Iago, Sir Toby, and a musically-inclined Dr. Pinch (with Pinchtones). David directed ISC's Henry V, Macbeth andLove's Labours Lost and composed music for many Shakespeare plays, including this season's Twelfth Night. He has appeared in numerous films, including "Ironclad," "The Understudy," and "Perfection." He was the host and co-creator of the Travel Channel series, "Lawrence Of America."

He is also an accomplished musician and his compositions for Shakespeare plays have been released as an album, "The Cuckoo And The Owl." He is also the composer, lyricist and co-author of the book for Red Barn. This fall, he will appear at the Geffen Theatre as Charles Dickens in The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord.

The cast of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will feature: Richard Azurdia, Melissa Chalsma, Amari Cheatom, Joseph Culliton, Thomas Ehas, Luis Galindo, André Martin, Xavi Moreno, Ashley Nguyen, Sean Pritchett, Erika Soto, Erwin Tuazon and Xavier J. Watson.

Season Production Design is by Caitlin Lainoff. Season Lighting Design is by Bosco Flanagan. Composer is David Melville.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will preview on Thursday, June 26 at 7:00pm and will open on Saturday, July 5 at 7:00pm and perform through Friday, August 29 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. All ISC Summer Shakespeare productions are FREE to the public. For more information, call (818) 710-6306 or online at

INDEPENDENT SHAKESPEARE CO. (ISC) was founded in 1998. We have been producing accessible, imaginative performances of classical plays since that time. Our first performances were located on the Lower East Side of New York City. The stripped down production style of our early productions enabled us to travel easily and we quickly found ourselves touring Europe, ending with an invitation to perform our production of Macbeth for four weeks at The King's Head Theatre in London. In 2001 we relocated to Los Angeles and -- with the support of the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Cultural Affairs -- founded Free Shakespeare in Barnsdall Park, in 2004. Because of audience demand, in 2010 we moved to the significantly larger venue at the Old Zoo and re-christened the summer season the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. 2014 is our 10th anniversary of performing free Shakespeare in Los Angeles City parks. The growth in attendance is extraordinary: our first season played to fewer than 1,000 people; by 2013 over 43,000 people came to Griffith Park for 40 nights of free classical theater productions. In 2012, we expanded our offerings with our indoor performance space, Independent Co. Studio where we present original work, re-imagined stagings of classics, readings and classes.

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