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The Eastern Echo Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ To Premiere in Quirk Theatre

EMU Theatre Brings Shakespeare to the Stage Again

 Another talented cast takes the Quirk mainstage this coming weekend for EMU Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s classic “Much Ado About Nothing.” 

The production, directed by Dr. Lee Stille, is set to run for two weekends, April 5 through April 7 and April 11 through April 14.

This production promises to be an inclusive and fun ride for both the cast and audience with gender-blind roles for actors and accessible performances for the audience during the run. Specifically, an accessible performance will take place on April 6 at 7 p.m. and a sensory-friendly performance on April 14 at 2 p.m.

If the energy at rehearsal is anything to measure a production’s quality by, EMU Theatre once again brings another great show to the audience. Backstage and onstage, the cast chatters quietly before the run -- a bit of script reciting here, a bit of rogue conversation there. The minute Stille calls the actors to attention, the students disappear and the professionals remain, an intense focus on their craft remaining and carrying into the performance.

The roles of Benedick and Beatrice are played by a woman and man, respectively, instead of the typical (and reversed) casting, which makes this production a different one than what’s usually seen. With other roles being shared and some character genders being switched, Stille and his cast bring forth a conversation about gender and relationships often forgotten amidst the jokes of the Bard’s comedy. This conversation is equally as important as the physical humor and puns, and both are unforgettable. 

With some setting updates (instead of 16th century Italy, the production takes place in the 1950s) and strong performances by the cast and crew, “Much Ado About Nothing” will be the perfect spring production for both Shakespeare diehards and theatre newbies alike.

Performances for “Much Ado About Nothing” will be held in Quirk Theatre on April 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 at 7 p.m., with Sunday performances (April 7 and April 14) taking place at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $15 online or in-person.