Local Director Austin Tichenor and the Pacific University Theatre Department are glad to present “Much Ado About Nothing,” this March.
“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of Shakespeare’s most well known dramatic comedies. The play focuses on the lives of two different couples, Hero and Cladio, being played by freshman Pheobe Whittington and sophomore Matt Gauss, and Beatrice and Benedick, being played by sophomore Elise Dixon and sophomore Josh Hauser.
“It’s a classic story about love and gossip, and the huge emotional ringers we put ourselves through when we’re in love and how we get ourselves out of them,” Tichenor said.
Tichenor has been working in the Theatre Department throughout the spring semester teaching a number of different classes and preparing for the show’s opening.
Tichenor also brings a great amount of experience with him into this year’s production, as he also works as the artistic director of the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
“The kids have a lot of great training here,” Tichenor said. “They’re a fantastic ensemble and they work really well together. It’s a really fun group of people.”
Tichenor’s goal for this production of “Much Ado About Nothing” is to bring out more of the comedic tones of the play, while still keeping the dramatic themes simmering underneath.
“I have seen productions of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ that focus on the dramatic aspects which, in my opinion, makes the comedy less of a priority,” Tichenor said.
Tichenor’s adaption of “Much Ado About Nothing” will take place in a 1950s high school to help the audience better visually understand the social relationships of the characters and the story.
“I feel like this production takes place at Rydell High, but in the corner where they’re speaking Shakespearean language, not in the corner where they’re singing about greased lightning,” Tichenor said.
“Much Ado About Nothing” will play at 7:30 p.m. on March 16-18 and at 2:00 p.m. on March 19 in the Tom Miles Theater in Warner Hall.
“People get intimidated by Shakespeare’s plays and then they come and they say, ‘oh, he’s not that hard to figure out,’” Tichenor said. “It’s better to see Shakespeare than to read him.”