Miscommunication, mayhem and merriment combine to offer an evening of light-hearted comedy in the University of North Dakota Theatre Arts’ production of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
Performances will resume this week at UND’s Burtness Theatre at 7:30 p.m., April 18-20.
Set in a lush Italian villa in the 16th century with set design by Brad Reissig, the play opens with soldiers returning from the battlefield ready to leave war behind them and turn to the pursuit of love. In classic romantic comedy style Shakespeare presents two pair of lovers with a host of conflicts and complications.
A sumptuous masquerade ball provides ample opportunity for mistaken identity that together with the evil Don John’s conniving machinations throw the entire world into chaos. He is not the only person trying to control what happens. Everyone seems to have a hand in plotting some action that backfires. A wedding ends with the groom hightailing it, a funeral turns out to be staged, celebrations lead to jail time, and spying results in misinformation.
Not to worry, the great Detective Dogberry will sort things out but only after he and his inept band of watchmen arrest the right people for the wrong reason.
This rapidly paced comedy is filled with slapstick, sharp-tongued wit and beguiling young lovers tossed about in the tumultuous hilarity.
Director Ali Angelone says the actions may be foolish, but the characters all must be played with complete realism in the belief that each is doing the right thing.
Michelle Davidson created diaphanous gowns and strikingly handsome uniforms to add to the rom-com mood of the play. Emily Elizabeth created ornate masks for the costume ball and Marilyn Gregoire designed and made jewelry for the women.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Please call the Burtness Box Office at 777.2587 to reserve your tickets.
professor and chair, Theatre Arts
University of North Dakota
777.2871 | kathleen.mclennan@UND.edu.