Questions of identity are something that we all face throughout our lifetime, especially during our teens and the characters of the Taming of the Shrew are certainly not exempt from these questions. Katarina is most confronted by the issue of identity and we can see this in her intriguing transformation from an independent, defensive woman, referred to as the shrew, into a submissive obedient wife. Katarina is not the only character to explore the notion of identity. Many of Bianca's suitors undergo a change in identity in an attempt to woo her. However, these characters soon realise that Bianca is not interested in their games as she falls for the character that remains truest to himself.
In relation to the Latino theme of USQ's production, the people of La Boca would have felt that their identity was a mass identity defined by the stereotype that they were all of a lower class and therefore not "worth" as much as the rest of society. Their town was considered to be dangerous and filthy and this would have had huge implications on the people's sense of self. This is important to the play text of the shrew as Katarina and Bianca are also defined by a stereotype of women as the lower sex and also, by the fact that they are upper classed women and are supposed to behave a certain way. Katarina's behaviour does not fit with this stereotype and this is why she is considered to be a shrew.
You may want to explore the character's changes in identity in a little more detail with your students. Split your class into even, small groups and assign each group a character, which goes through changes in their identity throughout the play. Firstly, ask each group to make a map/timeline of the characters changes. Secondly, ask the groups to come up with reasons why these characters have made the changes (what motivated the character to change their identity). Finally, ask the students whether they feel the characters change was warranted and why and whether it was a change for the better or worse and why.