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“Kiss Me Kate” Brings Unity to LMU Actors

Kiss Me  Kate pic 1Loyola Marymount University’s Department of Theatre Arts will present “Kiss Me Kate” for seven performances in the Strub Theatre through March 20.

“Kiss Me Kate” is a metatheatrical musical about a theater troupe’s bickering, romantic couples who encounter on- and off-stage drama during a production of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.”

Bill, played by John Dittrick, is a Broadway dancer who plays Lucentio in “Taming of the Shrew.” Dittrick, a senior theater arts major, said that the production required a lot of hard work and dedication, but that teamwork gave him the energy for the complicated costume changes and fast-paced nature of the play.

“I’m going to walk away from this production with the love for an ensemble experience,” Dittrick said. “Something quite special is created when everyone in a theater is present and supportive of one another.”

The play was directed by Diane Benedict, professor of theater and chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. Dittrick credits Benedict with teaching him about the benefits of fleshing out details of a character, the importance of understanding the genre of a play, and, most important, how to work in an ensemble.

“This production of ‘Kiss Me Kate’ is grounded in very real ideas, and it's done with a lot of precision, but I think the biggest thing audiences [will] get from this show is a sense of joy and liveliness,” Dittrick said.

A production of  “Taming of the Shrew” will run on alternate nights. “These really are two unique productions, and it was interesting to see how these two very different shows could work together in the same space,” Dittrick said.

Photo: John Dittrick on left. Photo credit: Lexi Graboski

Posted March 15, 2010