Feb 12, 2008

Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing' will premier Friday

by Anna Blevins
William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” hits Liberty University’s stage this Friday with the anticipation of wit and romance.

The play begins when Leonato, played by Micah Griswold, and his daughter, Hero, greet his old friends, Don Pedro of Arragon, Claudio and Benedick, who are returning home from war. In their welcoming, Claudio quickly falls in love with Hero, while Benedick, who is cunningly witty, trades his skillful banter with Beatrice.

Hero and Claudio fall desperately in love and plan to wed. During the wedding planning, the various characters concoct an arrangement to bring two of the characters together. In the process, however, Don John, the sly antagonist, attempts to prevent any bliss by disrupting the wedding.

As the story unfolds, clever wit, ruthless villains and merry romance ensue. “Much Ado About Nothing” is a delightful story that will have the audience falling in love with each character.

“It would be a nice outing for students because it is a primarily jovial script, although the play has many different levels and moods,” said cast member Andy Geffken, who plays Don Pedro of Arragon. Geffken said he felt he has been trained accordingly for the Shakespearean style after taking classical acting from Liberty’s theater department as well as participating in last year’s show, “Love’s Labours Lost.”

Brasher said that a challenge in directing this Shakespeare play is “helping those who are new to Shakespeare’s language structure. The actors have to make the language work in order for the audience to follow the story easily.”

Despite the challenge, Brasher said, “My greatest joy in Shakespeare is introducing actors and audience members to this fun language and helping them to realize that it is not so far removed from us, and we can understand and have fun with it. That is what I always want for the audience to experience.”

While Shakespeare sometimes comes with many different connotations, Brasher encouraged students, “Don’t expect the dry dusty old Shakespeare you might have experienced in high school. Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed, not read. When done well, Shakespeare can be immediate and fun.”

Geffken said, “Do not think of Shakespeare as old, boring British drama. Many people have a misperception of Shakespeare because they had to read Macbeth in high school, but this show will be a whole lot of fun to watch, and it’s very interactive for the audience, so it ought to keep people awake. They may even enjoy it.”

“Much Ado About Nothing” opens Feb. 15 with additional shows on Feb. 16, 21, 22 and 23 at 7 p.m. in the Lloyd Auditorium. Matinees will be held on Feb. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. and on Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now. Contact Anna Blevins at acblevins@liberty.edu.
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