Arts and Culture

Student-Run Shakespeare Review: Much Ado About Nothing

Zadie Lacy

March 13, 2015

This year, for the annual Shakespeare program, the group produced a charming adaptation of the wildly popular comedy Much Ado about Nothing, directed by seniors Elisabeth Cunningham, Aaron Cohen, and Lydia Brunk.

With the combined powerhouses of the drama department, the show this year was impressive, not only for the colorful interpretations of the script, but also for the presentation of the characters. Even though Shakespearean language is far from the modern vernacular, the acting choices and blocking made the difficult vocabulary easier to comprehend.

In addition to these wonderful features, the Shakespeare production was completely student-run.

This production of Much Ado about Nothing incorporated the elements of modern day reality through fresh comedic line delivery. One specific scene that highlights the clever comedic talents of this crew was a classic scene between Beatrice and Benedick; though the vocabulary may have been tough to navigate, the fantastic physical acting and emotional presences that both Cate Wells (‘16) and Nick Franzen (‘16) brought to these roles truly tied the whole show together with the playful, witty banter and teasing.

“This year’s production was one of the most impressive emotionally, (and) the comedic aspects were well represented,” said Asher Lapham (‘17). “I was impressed, I enjoyed it very much.”

Some of the high points of this production of Much Ado about Nothing were the strong displays of push-and-pull emotions, like love and internal moral struggles.  These impressive displays were seen in the poignant scene in which Claudio, played by Aidan Stoddart (‘17), accuses his fiance, Hero (portrayed by Mattie Weikle, a junior at Western Albemarle High School) of adultery with an unknown third party. Both actors conveyed the genuine distress and shock that their characters felt in the moment. After seeing this production, I could only wonder if there really was a grudge between the two because of the sincere emotional force that could be felt by even the farthest part of the audience.

This year’s production has been a smashing success for the theatre arts of Monticello High School. Looking to the future, there are sure to be more great directors and equally as fantastic Shakespearean productions.

Categories: Arts and Culture

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