Shakespeare’s version of the battle of the sexes, “Much Ado About Nothing,” will open Friday, Nov. 7, at Wake Forest University.
The sharp-tongued, independent heroine Beatrice (junior Megan Cramer) and the mocking hero Benedick (senior Jeff Schoenheit) match wits in Wake Forest University Theatre’s production of the popular comedy. Directed by guest director Dennis Krausnick from Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., the play runs through Nov. 16.
One reason Krausnick chose the play is that it offers more strong women’s roles than most Shakespeare plays. He has added another female role, turning the scheming villain Don John, who derails the romance of young lovers Hero (junior Emily Sparkman) and Claudio (senior Bo Perry), into Dona Juana (senior Kourtney Vahle).
Also, “it offers almost everything-weddings, sparring, real love scenes, the tragedy of men and women not understanding each other,” says Krausnick. “It is an extraordinary and exquisite roller coaster ride through this series of events.”
The dimwitted constable Dogberry (sophomore Allen Roda) adds low comedy and malapropisms to the mix.
For his set design, Wake Forest’s Jonathan Christman drew inspiration from the enclosed courtyards of New Orleans. The music for the play-blues, jazz and even some Dixieland-is also rooted in the South.
All performances begin at 8 p.m. on the Main Stage in Scales Fine Arts Center, except a Nov. 16 matinee performance at 2 p.m. Tickets, available at the theater box office (910-758-5295), are $10 for adults; $5 for students. The box office is open weekdays from 12-5:30 p.m.
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