Directed by Maura Van Voris
Co-Produced by Midsummer Shakespeare & The Glass Horse Project's Shakespeare in NB
Much Ado tells the story of Beatrice and Benedick, contemporaries evenly matched in a war of wits, who are tricked into admitting their love for each other by well-meaning friends. However, the two are put to the test when Beatrice’s cousin Hero becomes the pawn in a revenge scheme by the jealous Don John. In true Shakespearean fashion, hijinks ensue as the characters work to come to a resolution that is both heartfelt and hilarious.
Such schemes and antics may sound dated, but this production of Much Ado is set in 2019 and takes place on a yacht club overlooking the water, a locale that may be both familiar to the audience and fresh to Shakespeare’s text (which remains largely intact with only minor changes to clarify the language for modern audiences). “In modern day society, we can so often overlook Shakespeare as uninteresting or unfamiliar due to its age. By revamping this production with elements from our own time period, we are invigorating his work in a way that attracts new audiences,” adds production director Maura Van Voris.
Inhabiting the country club-set Much Ado is Jess Wilson as Beatrice, Nate Punches as Benedick, Kate Martin as Leonata, Sue Salvesen as Antonia, Allison Dukes as Donna Petra, Bill Levasseur as Don John, Michael Cabral as Claudio, Riley Fortin as Hero, Leeandra Booth as Margaret, Palmer Biddle as Borachio, Jordan Smith as Conrade/Messenger, Kerri Lamothe as Mother Frances/Sexton, Taylor K. Corbett as Dogberry, Korey J. Pimental as Verges, Cody Salvesen as First Watch/Ensemble and Juliana Bianchi as Second Watch/Ensemble
Much Ado About Nothing will tour the Southcoast region for three weekends this summer! The tour kicks off at the Lillian Gregerman Bandshell in Onset July 26-28 at 6:30pm each night. The following weekend, the production will perform two shows on August 3rd on the steps of Fairhaven Town Hall (1 and 5pm), and on August 4th, the production stops at Shipyard Park in Mattapoisett for a 1pm matinee. On August 10 and 11, the tour moves to Wings Court in New Bedford for 2 shows on Saturday (1pm and 5pm) and a Sunday matinee at 1pm. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and refreshments to productions. New dates are still being announced, and all shows are weather permitting (some dates do have rain locations); please see below for the latest information and full details of all performances. As always, all shows are free and open to all; donations will be gratefully accepted after all performances.
Much Ado About Nothing was in part funded by grants from the New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and Mattapoisett Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.