Forum on Educational Theatre Preview #5

Preparations for the Forum on Educational Theatre April 21-24, 2016 are well underway. To register, click here.

As we gear up for the event, we will post descriptions of some of the presentations–one of which appears below:

Narrative: Kiss Me Khatema: An Analysis of Emirati Women’s Responses to Kate’s Final Monologue in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew

Beginning in 2005 and ending in 2014, and as part of a new educational theatre (TIE) initiative begun with my appointment at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), I have included Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew in a course that surveys both Classical and Elizabethan theatre with an emphasis on strong female characters often in conflict with their society’s mores and traditions. As it pertained to an all-female student population of Emirati undergraduates, I was struck by the particular resonance that Kate held for young Arab women; especially in regard to such issues as arranged marriages, a female’s status in society, marital obligations to a father’s dictates and male patriarchy in the home and workplace. This paper/presentation will focus on how these issues coalesce around Kate’s final monologue where she apparently succumbs to Petruchio’s will after resisting for much of the play’s action; most especially when she utters the advice to the assembled women to “…place your hands beneath your husband’s foot.”

Co-Founder of the Creative Arts Team (CAT) in 1974, Dr. James P. Mirrione served as playwright-in-residence for this educational theatre company at New York University. As author of nineteen plays for the company, he established himself as one of the leading writers of Theatre-In-Education (TIE) plays for American audiences.

In 1995, he was commissioned by the United States Information Agency (USIA) to write The Last Enemy, a play for the first Middle East Theatre Company comprised of Palestinians, Jordanians, and Israelis, a company created under Dr. Mirrione’s direction. The play premiered at the United Nations in October of 1998, prior to its first tour in Amman, the West Bank, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Haifa.

In addition, he has written for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway as well regional theater. His commissioned plays include The Ghost Café for Carnegie Hall (1992) and The Last Stop, Will and Testament of Saint Jack Kerouac for New York University (1995). He is the 1995 winner of the Spokane Playwrights Festival for his play Area Code 212.
In 2005, Dr. Mirrione joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor at United Arab Emirates University in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to undertake the implementation of theatre-in-education within the curriculum.
In 2013, Dr. Mirrione was designated as a Special Visiting Professor in Theatre at the University of Nottingham, Ningbo China. He has also taught theatre and conducted theatre projects at the Beijing Dance Academy and Peking University. In 2014, Dr. Mirrione joined the faculty of Qatar University as a Full Professor in the Department of English Literature and Linguistics.