Paul Ugalde as Baptista Minola in VSF’s modern-day costuming production of “The Taming of the Shrew.”

A Very Excellent Piece of Work: Ugalde Takes the Stage in VSF’s Summer Season

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Thursday August 02, 2018

The Vermont Shakespeare Festival’s (VSF) production of “The Taming of the Shrew,” a modern take on the 400-year-old comic battle of the sexes, features Paul Ugalde of South Burlington. Ugalde plays the role of Baptista Minola, a wealthy father who establishes a rule that no man may marry his daughter Bianca until his older daughter Katherine is married.

Ugalde brings a depth of stage experience to the production. He has been a vital part of the local theater scene for decades, having had his first professional theater job as a member of the Champlain Shakespeare Festival in 1973. Over the years, Ugalde has performed in many Shakespeare works including “Romeo and Juliet,” “King Lear,” and VSF’s production of “Julius Caesar,” where he played the titular role.

“The Taming of the Shrew” is co-directed by Jena Necrason and John Nagle, founders of the Vermont Shakespeare Festival. Also from South Burlington, the two have been bringing Shakespeare’s classics to local audiences since launching the nonprofit in 2005. As a couple, they enter the stage with a 40-plus year professional background in performing, directing, and education.

Now in their 14th season of producing professional theatre, with “The Taming of the Shrew,” VSF brings wit, intelligence, and power-packed action to the stage with a talented company of actors from the region. This Shakespeare selection, well-known for its repartee and comedic devices, has been adapted numerous times, not just on stage, but in film and other genre. Most notably, it was the basis of the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me Kate” and the 1999 high school movie “10 Things I Hate About You.” However interpreted, “The Taming of the Shrew” entertains. As a line in the play reads, “Tis a very excellent piece of work.”

VSF describes the play as “the story of the clever and fiery Kate meeting the clamorous and entrepreneurial Petruchio. Thereafter, sparks fly, perceptions are smashed, and the world upends itself.” The company says, “Shakespeare’s delirious take on gender roles explores marriage as a commodity and love itself as theatre. One of Shakespeare’s most talked-about comedies, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ is sure to entertain, disrupt, and leave us thinking about who we are as we navigate the human heart.”

See the VSF production August 3 through 5 at Champlain College’s Alumni Auditorium and August 9 through 11 outdoors at the Shelburne Museum. In addition, VSF is holding a raffle in which a portion of the proceeds benefit Vermont Works for Women. Prizes include cooking classes, theater tickets, and hotel accommodations. For more information, visit