Meet the Cast: "SHREW!"

Tania Thompson
 | Apr 03, 2018

THE CAST: Bhama Roget, Jeremy Peter Johnson, Martin Kildare, Stephen Caffrey, Mike McShane, Peter Frechette, Colette Kilroy, Matt Orduña, Danny Scheie, Elijah Alexander, Susannah Rogers, Brett Ryback and Sierra Jolene in SHREW! By Amy Freed.

Playwright Amy Freed’s writing has figured prominently for several of the 13 cast members of her latest work, SHREW! They’re drawn to Freed by a number of things including the sense of limitless possibilities in her stories and the smart and funny writing.


Elijah Alexander
My character in SHREW! is Petruchio.
My previous SCR credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream—with Susannah Rogers!
My other credits include Metamorphoses (Broadway), Shopping and F**cking (off-Broadway), Throne of Blood; Tantalus; Watch on the Rhine; Hamlet; Richard III; Julius Caesar; Pride & Prejudice; Restoration Comedy; “Touch,” “Awake,” Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
What I love most about working on an Amy Freed play: I'm activated and exhilarated by the sense of limitless possibilities in her plays. The deeply poetic expression of the human soul. The complexity of characters. The depth charges of surprising heartfelt emotion. The unusual and unexpected humor.
Petruchio is: A widower, a searcher, a survivor, a farmer, a veteran of foreign wars, a spiritual gangster, an anarchist, a socialist, a revolutionary, a free thinker, a humanist, a feminist, an animal rights activist, a holy goof, a dharma bum; with the soul of a poet, the heart of a warrior and the creative imagination of a circus ringleader. A man ahead of his time.
Five words that describe SHREW!: Generosity, magnanimity, loyalty, compassion and kindness.
Books that make me laugh: Anything and everything by David Sedaris.
SHREW! is: a zany, audacious, irreverent, surprising, clown-capped romp. A no-holds-barred battle of the “sexies”!


Susannah Rogers
My characters in SHREW! are The Writer and Katherine Minola.
My previous SCR credits include The Monster Builder, Three Days of Rain, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with Elijah Alexander!), Man from Nebraska, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, On the Mountain, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol.
My other credits include All the Way (Broadway and A.R.T), productions at Yale repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Roundabout Theatre, Arena Stage; “Mr. Robot”, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (national tour).
What I love most about working on an Amy Freed play: Her writing has a wonderful combination of being incredibly smart and funny, but also rings deeply emotionally true. Her words are so satisfying to say.
Katherine is: A woman born in the wrong time period and she’s too stubborn to play by the rules of her time and accept what’s unacceptable to her. She’s frustrated, but passionate; and though she may not know it, she’s ready for a miracle.
Three words that describe SHREW!: Bright. Bold. New.
The last book I read that made me laugh: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. Smart and strong and so very funny.
The quality I value most in someone is: Kindness. Without it, nothing else seems to matter.


Stephen Caffrey
Characters in SHREW!: the Merchant and the Priest.
Previous SCR credits include Shakespeare in Love and Bach at Leipzig.
Other credits include Stage Kiss and Yes, Prime Minister (Geffen Playhouse); Henry IV, King Lear, Autumn Garden (Antaeus Theatre Company); Red, Galileo, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Heartbreak House, A Doll’s House, All’s Well That Ends Well, I Hate Hamlet, Restoration Comedy, “American Odyssey,” “CSI Miami,” “Tour of Duty,” Longtime Companion, Murder of Innocence.


Peter Frechette
Character in SHREW!: Hortensio.
Previous SCR credits include Amadeus, Hurrah at Last, Night and Her Stars, The Extra Man.
Other credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, productions on and off-Broadway.


Jeremy Peter Johnson
My character in SHREW! is Tranio.
My previous SCR credit is Nothing Sacred.
My other credits include Guys and Dolls, Richard II, Yeoman of the Guard, Into the Woods, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Tracy’s Tiger (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare’s R&J (off-Broadway), “All My Children,” “As the World Turns.”
What I love about Amy Freed: This is my first Amy Freed play, but I love her play's wit, its tenderness... and its many surprises. And the dog.
My character: Spends the play working. He's streetwise, conniving and a bit of an actor!
Three words that describe SHREW!: Topical, groundbreaking, naughty.
The last book I read that made me laugh: The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump. Spoiler alert: it's a satire.
The quality I value most in someone: The ability to put their phone away and engage deeply with the world around them. Tech is great, but staring at screens all day is a great way to miss life.


​Sierra Jolene
My character in SHREW! is Bianca Minola.
My previous SCR credit is Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of SHREW!
My other credits include The Monster Builder, All My Sons, Of Mice and Men, Macbeth, The Liar.
What I love most about working on an Amy Freed play: This is my second Amy Freed play and I feel so, so lucky to have the opportunity to again be in the room with Art and Amy—a dynamic duo of theatre brilliance. To have the opportunity to share a rehearsal room with a playwright at all is rare; and for that playwright to have the type of heart and absolute brilliance that Amy possesses is a real gift. Specifically, with her female roles, she writes women that are layered and complex: sexy, outspoken, sometimes silly, but women who are individuals and survivors no matter what that may look like in their life.
My character is: Oh Bianca, Bianca! She has figured out her wiles to make this world work for her. She is maybe a little manic and she thinks each thought so deeply and with her whole entire brain and being that she only has room for one thought at a time.
Three words that describe SHREW!: Witty. Sexy. Timely.
The last book I read that made me laugh: It's a play, actually. Venus in Fur by David Ives.
The quality I value most in someone: Kindness. We have created a world where it has become too easy to cut people down just for the sake of cutting people down.


​Martin Kildare
My character in SHREW! is Baptista Minola, Katherine and Bianca’s father.
My previous SCR credits include The Light in the Piazza, The Real Thing
My other credits include Broadway productions of The Lion King, A Raisin in the Sun, Timon of Athens, The Government Inspector, The Herbal Bed; Off-Broadway Pride’s Crossing, Honor and the River, Candida; the Mamma Mia national tour.
What I love most about working on an Amy Freed play: Her originality and creativity. This is the first play of hers that I have worked on, but I have seen productions of her other plays and the worlds she creates are always energized and unpredictable. There is an anarchy that exists within both the action and the form of the play that fiercely fights to find a resolution. Her unique vision always provides an exciting and surprising journey.
My character is: A widower struggling to raise two post-adolescent girls in 1594. A daunting challenge for anyone, but these particular girls are proving more than he can handle. He is desperate to see them well-married—and himself finally relieved of the exhausting responsibility.
Three words that describe SHREW!: Original, anarchic, and hilarious. It juxtaposes everything you associate with Shakespeare's play and the Elizabethan world with our own time and Amy's vision. Classical/modern, male/female, convention/chaos, religious/pagan, tradition/transgression—they all collide in an exuberant romp.
The last book I read that made me laugh: P.G. Wodehouse, "A Wodehouse Bestiary." This book always makes me laugh; it’s a collection of animal stories.
The quality I value most in someone: Authenticity. There is a courage and a beauty in being who you are. I find that much more compelling than whom we pretend to be.


​Colette Kilroy
My characters in SHREW! are Mistress Slapbottom and The Widow.
My previous SCR credits include The Monster Builder, Absurd Person Singular, Silent Sky, The Homecoming, Safe in Hell, Tom Walker, Dimly Perceived Threats to the System, The Triumph of Love, Night and Her Stars.
My other credits include Lend Me a Tenor, Julius Caesar, Quills, Life During Wartime, The Clean House, The Cherry Orchard, Life is a Dream, The Winter’s Tale, Measure for Measure; “Numb3rs,” “Without a Trace,” Me and You and Everyone We Knew.
What I love most about Amy Freed: She has a magnificent mind and it is always a challenge and delight to inhabit a corner of it.
About my characters: Mistress Slapbottom has been industrious with the opportunities her life has offered. She craves excitement and derives a special thrill from bear fights. The Widow maneuvers life and death to suit her.
Three words that describe SHREW!: Fiery spirited, torqued.
The last book I read that made me laugh: David Sedaris makes me laugh. Anytime.
The qualities I value most in someone: Integrity, humor and compassion.


​Mike McShane
Character in SHREW!: Gremio
Previous SCR credits include The Tempest, Cyrano de Bergerac, Dumb Show.
Other credits include Little Shop of Horrors, La Cage aux Folles, The Pocket Dream, Tailor Made Man; “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, “Doctor Who,” “ER,” “Wayward Pines.”


Matt Orduña
Characters in SHREW!: Vicentio and Wedding Singer
Previous SCR credit: Gem of the Ocean.
Other credits include: Les Blancs, Bar & Measure, Fences, Clybourne Park, Oedipus El Rey, Macbeth, “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Sons of Anarchy,” I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.


Bhama Roget
Character in SHREW!: Biondello
Previous SCR credit: Making her SCR debut.
Other credits include: Restoration Comedy, The Monster Builder, Stick Fly, Mr. Burns, Tartuffe, Boeing-Boeing, God of Carnage, The Constant Wife, Noises Off, “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Leverage.”



Brett Ryback
Character in SHREW!: Lucentio.
Previous SCR credits include: The Prince of Atlantis, Doctor Cerberus.
Other credits include: Murder for Two (off-Broadway), The History Boys, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Broadway Bound, “Modern Family,” The Assistant.


​Danny Scheie
My character in SHREW! is Grumio.
My previous SCR credits include The Monster Builder; One Man, Two Guvnors; The Wind in the Willows; You, Nero.
My other credits include Restoration Comedy and productions at The Old Globe, California Shakespeare Theater, Pasadena Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Folger Theatre,.
What I love most about working on an Amy Freed play: I love working on an Amy Freed play most; she’s the smartest writer alive.
My character is: A guy kinda trapped in a clown construct in which he firmly believes he is, but was never and never will be, funny.
Three words that describe SHREW!: Sexy. Wicked. Rib-tickling.
The last book I read that made me laugh: Fire and Fury. Talk about a clown show
The quality I value most in someone: Sense of humor. You know what? They can smoke, they can do drugs, they can have no bank account, they can hit you, they can steal out of your wallet, but if they don’t have a sense of humor, you just can’t.

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