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‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at WCSU

DANBURY, Conn. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts will present William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” from May 1-4, 2019, in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Preview performances will be at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 (on-campus preview) and Thursday, May 2 (high school night). Public showings will be at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 3, Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5; with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Written between 1598 and 1599, and formally published in 1600, the comedy pits bachelor Lord Benedick against the governor of Messina’s niece, Beatrice, in a “merry war” amidst romance, gossip and farce. Finding marriage repugnant, the aloof Benedick secretly longs for Beatrice’s affection. While his friends plan to set the two up, the villainous Don John seeks revenge for past ills by ruining the wedding of the governor’s daughter Hero and Benedick’s companion Claudio.

“In my mind, there has never been a satisfactory conclusion to the story of Hero and Claudio,” Director and Sound Designer Anthony Cochrane  said. “In our current cultural moment, I set about putting that right. This story could happen now. How would this play out in our present environment?

“My vision for this production was simplicity,” Cochrane continued. “As an artist I find the best creativity comes from necessity and structured storytelling. I am a firm believer in all things magical; allowing actors to create a world, through the characters and the drama, but also creating environments by themselves.”

“Much Ado About Nothing” was first performed in 1612 by Shakespeare’s main patron, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men theatre company. Notable adaptions include the 1959 and 1972 Broadway performances, the 1993 film adaption starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, and a 2007 performance starring James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave at the Old Vic theatre in London.

The cast includes Sam Rogers, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as Benedick; Sam Everett, of Kent, as Don John; Caleigh Lozito, of Bristol, as Beatrice; Zachary Adam Brown, of Jewett City, as Claudio; Dante Cyr, of Waterbury, as Leonato; Emma Giorgio, of Ridgefield, as Hero; John Mudgett, of Danbury, as Pedro; Isiah Bostic, of Hamden, as Antonio; Patrick Ramsay, of Sandy Hook, as Boraccio; Ryan Henry, of Cortlandt Manor, New York, as Verges; Jared Hirsch, of Monroe, as Conrade; Kat Karl, of Bethel, as Ursula; Emily Lopez, of Stratford, as Friar Francis; and Alex Niatopsky, of Wolcott, as Dogberry.

The crew includes Sound Designer/Composer Anthony Cochrane, Set Designer Joshua Rose, Costume Designer Nancy Palmatier, Lighting Designer Scott Cally and Technical Director/Production Manager Thomas Swetz.

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Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.