Maulik Pancholy & Peter Gadiot to Star in Shakespeare Theatre Company's The Taming of the Shrew
Next at Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), stage and screen actors Maulik Pancholy (Weeds, 30 Rock) and Peter Gadiot (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland) will be seen playing Katherina and Petruchio respectively in Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's bold new interpretation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Iskandar, known for his striking and immersive directorial style, completes STC's 2015-2016 season with this production, playing in Sidney Harman Hall from May 17 to June 26, 2016.
Spilling from the stage into the lobbies and the street, director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar's production presents a provocative new approach to The Taming of the Shrew and an utterly unique audience experience. Iskandar will use an all-male cast to examine the fluidity of identity, the authenticity of self-performance and the economics of love in one of Shakespeare's most notorious texts. Set in the arena of high fashion with influences from both Renaissance and 1950s Italy, Iskandar is working to craft a spectacular world for STC audiences.
Founding Artistic Director of the theatre collective Exit, Pursued by a Bear and an emerging artist noted for his innovative interpretation of classic texts, Iskandar creates performances that shift beyond the proscenium, reconnecting audiences and artists and working to establish a thriving social community within the theatre. Iskandar's previous projects include the 2014 Drama Desk Award-winners The Golden Dragon and The Mysteries-a collaboration with 50 playwrights that reimagined the stories of The Bible over six hours-as well as These Seven Sicknesses, a five-hour adaptation of all seven of Sophocles' plays, and Restoration Comedy, both Drama Desk Award-nominated.
Performing the lead role of Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, Maulik Pancholy makes his STC debut, having recently starred opposite Martin Short and Matthew Broderick in the Broadway hit It's Only a Play. Pancholy is best known for playing Jonathan on the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock and for playing Sanjay on Showtime's award-winning dramedy Weeds. Playing opposite Pancholy as Petruchio is screen and stage actor Peter Gadiot, known for his work in the films The Forbidden Girl, Night Wolf and 13 Hours, in addition to his extensive television credits, including Cyrus on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and his forthcoming leading role in USA Network's Queen of the South, which is set to air in the summer of 2016.
Speaking about his concept for Shrew, Iskandar explains, "Shakespeare's central narrative is about Kate, an 'other' who chooses to transform and rejoin society on her own terms. I want to create a world in which otherness can manifest in as visible a way as possible. I am interested in using a widely diverse canvas to express universality: the world will be specific, but the story no less universal." Regarding his all-male cast, Iskandar continues, "With an all-male cast, we are attempting to shift the focus from the war of the sexes to the war within the self. The Public Theater has just announced an all-female production of Shrew in the Park with exactly the same running date as ours, which I can't wait to see." He concludes, "It seems a single-gender cast allows us to unlock this play in an important new way."