The Taming

The Taming

by Lauren Gunderson
directed by Maggie Marks
co-produced with Voices Found Repertory

featuring the talents of Kaylene Howard, Caroline Norton, and Samantha Sostarich
with production design by Alan Piotrowicz

In Lauren Gunderson’s The Taming, tweetering, pandashrews, and undying giddiness for James Madison — what else could you expect to find at a Miss America pageant? In this hilarious, raucous, all-female “power-play” inspired by Shakespeare’s Shrew, contestant Katherine has political aspirations to match her beauty pageant ambitions. All she needs to revolutionize the American government is the help of one ultra-conservative senator’s aide on the cusp of a career breakthrough, and one bleeding-heart liberal blogger who will do anything for her cause. Well, that and a semi-historically-accurate ether trip. Here’s lookin’ at you, America.

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

November 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2021 @ 7:00pm
Available to Stream On-Demand November 10th-16th, 2021


Kaylene Howard (Pat)

Kaylene Howard is so thrilled to be making her debut with this wonderful brand new company! Native to Fresno, California, she received her training from the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts in Santa Maria, studying various performance methods such as Stanislavski, Grotowski, Linklater and Suzuki. Favorite past performances of hers include The Wolves, The Cake, Antigone, Tartuffe and The Winter's Tale. She hopes you enjoy the show, and if it looks like she's suffering through a constant gay panic on stage, it's because she is. @kay.leneback

Caroline Norton (Bianca)

Originally from Alabama, Caroline (she/her) is a Milwaukee-based actor and educator. She graduated from Marquette University in 2020 where she studied Theatre Arts and Digital Media. Recent credits include WHITE PRIVILEGE with the Milwaukee Black Theatre Festival and THE WINTER’S TALE with Summit Players Theatre where she also serves as Education Director. Caroline is excited to be doing a show in her natural dialect for the first time, and she invites you to sit back, have a laugh, and reflect on our nation’s government.

Samantha Sostarich (Katherine)

SAMANTHA SOSTARICH is delighted to be making her Suntone Studios MKE debut. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a BA with distinction as a Theatre Acting Specialist. Favorite roles include Rona Lisa Peretti in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," Velma Von Tussle in "Hairspray," and Lily St. Regis in "Annie" with Skylight Music Theatre, Gretchen in "Boeing Boeing" with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Lady of the Lake in "Monty Python’s Spamalot" with Four Seasons Theatre, Mrs. Wormwood in "Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical" with Children’s Theater of Madison, and Fortuna in "Fortuna the Timebender vs. The School Girls of Doom" with Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Milwaukee Metro Voices. Other Skylight Music Theatre credits include "Sweeney Todd," "Violet," "Pirates of Penzance," "Into the Woods," "Pump Boys and Dinettes," "Avenue Q," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Dames At Sea," "The Producers," and "White Christmas." @angelsamui

Production Team

Maggie Marks (Director)

Maggie Marks is so incredibly exited to be directing for the first time on this show in this space! Sunstone Studios is an enormous gift in a small space to those of us who thrive on theater.  She feels so grateful to Amber Regan and Jim Neuner for their hard work and vision.  During the pandemic, Maggie filled some of her performance/theater needs with renovating Sunstone Studios, filming a movie, various Zoom theatrical projects, and virtual school for her kids.  She worked virtually with Schmitz and Giggles for  SKETCH 22, and Voices Found Repertory in their Halloween production of THEY CALL ME DRACULA as well a their NEW WORKS FESTIVAL.  Also during the pandemic, she performed a piece called WOMENS VOICES for Seat of Your Pants Reading Theater Troupe.  Most recently prior to Covid she worked with Renaissance Theaterworks Brink Festival, First Stage, Sunset Playhouse, Mad Rogues, Cardinal Stritch, Schmitz and Giggles, and Seat of Our Pants Readers Theater Troupe.  Next up she has her directing debut of THE TAMING by Lauren Gunderson at Sunstone Studios in November,  and will then be performing in DIARY OF ANNE FRANK for Milwaukee Entertainment Group in January.  A huge thank you to Sarah for her support and respect and the all important binder, and of course lots of love and thanks to her husband Sean and children.  

Alan Piotrowicz (Production Designer)

Alan Piotrowicz makes his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he has designed for several companies including All In Productions, Cooperative Performance, Danceworks, Falls Patio Players, First Stage Children’s Theatre, In Tandem Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Renaissance Theaterworks, Theatre Gigante, Theater RED, and Windfall Theatre. He’s also designed for TITAN Theatre Company in New York City, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre in Holland, MI, and Ivoryton Playhouse and Brief Cameo Productions in Ivoryton, CT. He sits on the board of both Cooperative Performance and Brief Cameo Productions. He received his training at UW-Madison and The Santa Fe Opera.

Lauren Instenes (Stage Manager)

Sarah Zapiain (Directing Mentor)

Sarah Zapiain is a Milwaukee-based actor and director and current company manager for Voices Found Repertory. She has directed such VFR productions as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2021) and Hamlet (2017), and has appeared onstage in such productions as Macbeth (Witch #2/The Porter) and Twelfth Night (Viola). She also was the Tour Manager for Summit Players Theatre’s 2021 season. She also enjoys creating opportunities for new artists, and led VFR’s first virtual New Works Festival (2021). She is grateful to be on this project, and is proud to be a part of the new community Sunstone has fostered.

Leslie Fitzwater (Dialect Coach)

LESLIE FITZWATER has been active in the theatre community for more than 40 years. Her career spans opera, theater, music theater, cabaret, and mime, and her roles have been as diverse as Paddington Bear and Carmen. Leslie credits her W. Virginia roots for sparking her interest in dialects and accents, and her late husband, Jim, for coaching her when she has needed to use them in performance.

Special Thanks