On Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, the Department of Theatre and Dance Studies premiered to the Wheaton community the opening of its latest mainstage production: William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
This complex and humorous story revolves around the lives of various characters. Upon returning from battle, Prince Pedro of Aragon, along with his companions Benedick and Claudio, pay a visit to Leonato, Governor of Messina. In this magical city on the Italian coast, Claudio falls desperately in love with Hero, daughter of Leonato. Meanwhile, both Prince and Governor collude to make Benedick fall in love with Beatrice, niece to Leonato, who time and again argues against the idea of marriage.
The plot unfolds smoothly, save for the presence of Don John, the Prince’s evil brother, who out of jealousy of Claudio concocts a plan to separate the young couple and involve both in misery of the acutest kind. The timelessness of Shakespeare along with the efforts of the Theatre Department bring this lovely comedy to life.
“Personally, I like being in a collective where respect and hard work is the main goal,” says Akhshaye Lohia ’21, a Theatre student at Wheaton performing the role of Don Pedro. “It’s not just limited to the actors, but also the costume and stage design, the lighting, the sound, stage managers and the director. It’s a huge time commitment to bring it together. I think everyone had a great time both making it and seeing it. At the end of the day, the audience is king and I hope they liked what we played and how we played it.”
Directed by David Fox, professor of Theatre at Wheaton, and performed by Wheaton’s own Theatre students and enthusiasts, both drama and comedy develop in this avant-garde production of the much beloved Shakespearean play.
“It’s David’s last production at Wheaton after twenty-nine years,” says Lohia. “It’s his last show and we hope to have done justice to his vision. If we came close to that, it’s a job well done.”
Professor Fox, a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University with an M.F.A. from Brandeis University will be retiring after a long career at Wheaton. He will be much missed by both colleagues and students from the Theatre Department.
Categories: Arts and Culture