Much Ado About Nothing
By William Shakespeare | Directed by Catherine Weidner
Sponsored by David & Christine Heckman

Confirmed bachelor and soldier Benedick and bright and, often belligerent, Beatrice are obviously meant for one another. Their young proteges, Hero and Claudio, exude love as fresh as springtime dew. But fate has other plans for these two couples, and while Benedick and Beatrice’s friends try to trick the pair into admitting their feelings, the deceitful Don John tricks Claudio into believing that Hero has been unfaithful. It’ll take a wild mix of games, pranks, a disrupted wedding, a faked death, and the utter ineptitude of the local constable to set true love on the right course. Much Ado About Nothing is a sparkling screwball comedy filled with colorful characters, passionate poetry, and Shakespeare’s wittiest wordplay.


Thursday, June 27, 7:30 p.m. (Preview/Monmouth Night)
Friday, June 28, 7:30 p.m. (Opening Night)
Saturday, July 6, 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 21, 7:00 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion to Follow)
Wednesday, July 24, 1:00 p.m.
Friday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 31, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 3, 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 8, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 11, 1:00 p.m. (Closing Night)

Production Team

Catherine Weidner
Jim Alexander
Set Designer
Hannah Cordes
Intimacy Director
Jennifer Fok
Lighting Designer
Melissa A. Nathan
Stage Manager
Elizabeth Rocha
Costume Designer
Cameron Sarchi
Assistant Stage Manager
Llyn Thomas
Production Assistant
Rew Tippin
Sound Designer


A.J. Baldwin
Beatrice, Dogberry

Grace Bauer
Don Pedro, Don John

Mark S. Cartier
Leonato, Oatcake

Hannah Freund
Hero, Verges
Will Harrell
Benedick, Seacoal
Robbie Harrison
Balthasar, Friar Francis
Y’vonne Rose Smith
Margaret, Sexton

David Sommer

From the Director
Though audiences love Much Ado About Nothing as a battle of wits between Beatrice and Benedick, it is also a heartbreaking story of an innocent person, young Hero, whose reputation is torn to bits based on false information. What we hear and see, what we believe, can be based on unreliable sources, under false premises, and cause irreparable damage. Two versions of this scenario play out before us: the tricking of the two reluctant lovers by their friends – who believe what they hear from others and act on it to hilarious ends; and the witnessing of what seems to be Hero’s betrayal of Claudio, which leads to ….Wait: No Spoilers!

This was Shakespeare’s focus in 1598, weaving the comic, the romantic, and the tragic into one tale, setting it in Italy (a location he often employed), and then going on to write four of the greatest dramatic works of the millennium: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. These plays all contain echoes from Much Ado: strong women enmeshed in complex schemes, villains who ensnare others in plots of revenge, and moments of redemption amidst the evil around us. The bumbling but earnest constable and her recruits reflect a community that cares about its own, wanting to do the right thing in the face of a wronged young lady.

In this version, we use eight actors — imagine! – to explore the depths of the story, and bring its humanity to the surface, like a relic from the deep that still has its luster and value because it is so well constructed. What emerges in Much Ado is a complex tale of forgiveness, woven together with the connective thread of laughter and self-deprecation, things we could all use a little bit more of right now.