The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday February 28th

Bowing out in a big way

Senior says goodbye with elaborate production

Paul Hovey, Dramatic Arts/Spanish double major, helps trick the beggar Christopher Sly by pretending to be his noble wife during rehearsal for Lab Theatre's "The Taming of the Shrew" on April 11.
Buy Photos Paul Hovey, Dramatic Arts/Spanish double major, helps trick the beggar Christopher Sly by pretending to be his noble wife during rehearsal for Lab Theatre's "The Taming of the Shrew" on April 11.

Laughter filled the auditorium of Kenan Theatre Monday — but the seats were strangely empty.

Before the dress rehearsal of LAB! Theatre’s production of “Taming of the Shrew began, the cast gathered in a circle and looked to its director, Amelia Sciandra, to hold the offbeat Shakespearean adaptation together.

IF?YOU?GO

Time: Thursday-Sunday 8 p.m., Sunday 2p.m., Monday 5 p.m.
Location: Kenan Theatre
Info: Canvas blog on dailytarheel.com

Sciandra — also a LAB! producer — had been running around the stage parting hair, mopping, instructing and singing along with the cast to make sure her debut as a director becomes a success.

Although Sciandra’s love for LAB! began even before she was enrolled at UNC, the play, her last with the company, is a chance for her to be on the other side of the process.

“I am obsessed with theater and fell in love with LAB! my senior year of high school when I came to see two productions,” Sciandra said.

As a freshman at UNC, Sciandra was finally able to join the ensemble.

“LAB! immediately became my home — the first thing I did on campus was a show,” she said.

And the last thing she does on stage at UNC will also be a LAB! production.

The modern adaptation of “Taming of the Shrew” features several layers, Sciandra said. It begins with a musical scene of set builders on strike and eventually builds into a production of “Kiss Me Kate” in the 1940s.

“I drew a diagram of how the different layers tied together,” Sciandra said. “The company jokes that at times it feels like they are ten levels deep in a play version of ‘Inception.’”

Stephanie Waaser, who designed the set, said the layers were somewhat of a challenge to create.

“The trick with designing for Amelia was to remember the levels of plays within plays — working with costuming and sets — involved in her vision of adapting ‘Taming of the Shrew.’”

Luke Wander, who plays Petruchio in the Shakespearean comedy, said that Sciandra has grown from being an actress to being a director.

“I was in a show with Amelia last year and she had many creative ideas as an actress,” he said.

“But it has been great to discover a different side of her which blossomed directing this production.”

Sciandra selected “Taming of the Shrew” as her final show in order to stretch actors in a unique way, she said.

“I have gained a new perspective of a director’s vision and the fruition of working with a great cast that loves to laugh,” Sciandra said.

And as the curtain goes up this week, it will be a bittersweet end for Sciandra.

“I have lived in this building more often than my dorm or apartment,” she said.

Contact the Arts Editor at arts@dailytarheel.com.

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