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Janine Russo Fuller and David Bridgewater will not play Kate and Petruchio in Barksdale's "Taming of the Shrew" this spring

Local couple bows out of "shrew"


If you were fired up about seeing local acting couple Janine Russo Fuller and David Bridgewater play Kate and Petruchio in Barksdale's "Taming of the Shrew" this spring, you're in for some disappointment. The actors - who have a nearly 1-year-old daughter - have changed their plans. "They were concerned about the amount of time they'd have to be away from their daughter," offers Barksdale's associate artistic director Richard St. Peter, who would have been directing the couple. "As Kate and Petruchio, they literally have to be at rehearsal every night." The father of a 19-month-old daughter himself, St. Peter knows how babies can wreak havoc with the best of plans. "You think it's not going to change you, that you're still going to be able to do what you thought you could do … but it really does," he says. Bridgewater says there were additional factors, including a film opportunity that arose for him and the fact that "Shrew's" director had changed from Barksdale's artistic director Randy Strawderman to St. Peter. "We had a close bond with Randy, and we had hoped it would be an opportunity for the three of us to work together," Bridgewater says. "We really just wanted to do a traditional production, which these days is kind of untraditional. Most people now want to do Shakespeare wearing T-shirts and riding Harleys … I think Rick wanted to do something a little more Gen X, which is kind of his trademark. He's going to probably go with a younger, more hip cast. And I'm not young or hip anymore," he laughs. "There's no hard feelings at all," notes St. Peter. "We look forward to working with them again as soon as we can." Jason Whisman, seen most recently as the English reporter in "Misfits," will play Petruchio, and St. Peter will hold auditions for the role of Kate. As for the movie, Bridgewater will play a priest in a John Travolta film called "Domestic Disturbance;" he'll shoot on location in Wilmington, N.C., in early April. "I'm only on set for about a week," he says. "If you blink, you'll probably miss me."

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