Tried and True Classic Brought to you by Utah State Theatre
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017
A Shakespeare classic, Much Ado About Nothing, opens December 1 at 7:30 p.m. and runs December 2, 6-8. There are additional matinees of the show on December 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
In this beloved, lighthearted comedy, Shakespeare brings us intrigue, deception, love and friendships that bring couples together and tear them apart. Young lovers Hero and Claudio, soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick and Beatrice to find love as well.
Adrianne Moore, director of the show and head of the Department of Theatre Arts in the Caine College of the Arts at USU, loves directing Shakespeare because of the process students go through when they’re learning their roles.
“You learn a huge amount through Shakespeare and his amazing material,” Moore said. “It’s so densely written that students are making extraordinary discoveries all the way through. Even if you feel like you’ve gotten a handle on a character or relationship, three or four weeks into rehearsal you’re always making a new discovery.”
Moore calls the show a “problem comedy” because of some darker scenes.
“A male lead in one of the show’s ‘main’ couples, Claudio, is a pretty unsympathetic character,” Moore said. “He behaves abominably towards his other half, but the director is challenged to reveal this behavior in such a way that the audience isn’t left with a bad feeling about how the show wraps up.”
There are some scenes where Claudio’s behavior is reprehensible, but others where the audience is able to tap into the more vulnerable and remorseful part of the character, Moore said. She has created an addition to a scene where he visits a graveyard and unbeknownst to him, the person he believes to be dead is secretly watching his behavior.
Another change Moore has made to this version of the show, which is set in Messina, Italy in the 1800s, is casting typical male roles with female actresses.
“I was interested in what happened if gave a female character a great role that was originally written for a man,” Moore said. “In this play I’ve given four roles which would usually have been played by men to women in order to give our student actresses more opportunities. For example, the role of Antonio has been switched to Antonia, the aunt of one of the four main lovers.”
For the Shakespeare skeptics, Moore promises this show will be easy to understand with clear motives and emotions, not to mention very relatable. There will be plenty of friendship and romantic relationships and good and bad advice from friends and family.
“I want people to know this show is fun, fast-paced, playful production,” Moore said. “And it’s a comedy! This a lighter Shakespeare show that young people will love. If you’ve been put off by Shakespeare before, you owe it to yourself to give it another try and see what you might enjoy about this production.”
Tickets for Much Ado About Nothing are $13 adults, $10 seniors, $8 USU faculty/staff and free for USU students with ID and any middle school and high school students in the valley. For more information or tickets, contact the CCA Box Office in room L101 of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus, call 435-797-8022, or go online to cca.usu.edu.
Writer and contact: Whitney Schulte, email@example.com, 435-797-9203