Get thee to the theater!

28 April 2023
By Sophia Heidebrecht

If you haven’t heard, next week, Carleton’s theater will be launching its spring production. This term, they’ll be presenting Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy written by this really cool, underground playwright named William Shakespeare. You might have heard of it. Maybe you’re a Hugh Oatcake stan. Maybe you’ve only ever seen the Kenneth Branagh movie with Keanu Reeves as Don John. Maybe (like one editor who shall remain nameless) you don’t know a thing about it.

He’s acting his little heart out. Apparently he’s one of the Shakespeare-was-actually-the-Earl-of-Oxford truthers though 🙁 Maybe if he had taken ENGL 209: A Much Ado Project Course before acting in the movie he would know better.

Basically, Much Ado is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers, angst-with-happy-ending, idiots-in-love play. It features the “merry war” between Benedick (Collin Preves ‘24) and Beatrice (Skye Sparks ‘25), who are, to quote my roommate (a Keanu-Reeves-as-Don-John apologist), “a secondary couple that’s more important than the main couple, and they’re like cooler and better” (She’s not an English major, but you get the idea). As the aforementioned main couple plan their wedding, Benedick and Beatrice have to confront unresolved feelings — and an unexpected disaster.

much ado poster

This spring, the Much Ado production has led to an exciting collaboration between the English and Theater departments, in the form of a project course co-taught by Pierre Hecker (English) and Andrew Carlson (Theater). Students of the class have learned more about the play and its original context, while exploring the choices involved in staging a production today. Many have been involved with the production itself, and you’ll get to see the hard work of actors, designers, and researchers alike come to fruition in the Weitz for one week only!

This production has everything: the Roaring Twenties. Moreover, swing dancing. Secondarily, original jazz music by Laura Caviani. Sixth and lastly, lobby displays by yours truly. Performances start on Thursday, May 4th, in the Weitz Theater, and run until Sunday, with post-show discussions on the 5th and the 7th. If you still need convincing, we asked the Carleton community to tell us why you should come see the show.

I think [director] Andrew Carlson has done an absolutely brilliant job of putting together a joyful, celebratory, funny production… he very much had on his mind the arrival of spring, the end of the academic year, and our slow emergence from COVID constraints, and the way in which that has been a very heavy weight on all collaborative art. [He wanted to create] something that was about community, and that was about the joy and life-affirming advent of spring… and I think that’s what he has delivered. On top of which… they’ve got a live, professional jazz band from the cities who have composed original music for the show. So this setting, in which part of the experience is just to be in the presence of live musicians for a whole evening, promises to be really fabulous.

Pierre Hecker (Professor, ENGL 209: A Much Ado Project Course)

You should come see the show because it’s been a cross-section of some of the most talented artists, designers, and thinkers I’ve gotten to work with on a production in my time as an actor. A lot of good work done by a lot of great people that should be seen.

Collin Preves (Benedick)
Much Ado About Nothing | Film Review | Spirituality & Practice
You when you get your tickets to Carleton’s Much Ado.

This production of Much Ado About Nothing is a celebration of what theater at Carleton is capable of, with a huge cast of talented actors, designers, and live musicians going all-out to create something that is lively, funny, and engaging. It has been so fun seeing this show come together from a slideshow of design ideas, to awkward stumble-throughs and complicated carpentry, to a set and show that comes to life.

Emmy Belloni (Sound Designer)

The play is fantastic. The cast is incredible and full of many first-timers to Carleton theater, including myself, which has been so exciting to figure out together. Working with the Much Ado project course has been amazing as well, since we’ve all gotten to be a part of the framework of the play with wonderful presentations and illuminating research from the class. I couldn’t recommend seeing it more, even if it’s just to support a friend — you won’t regret it. It’s hilarious and profound and I’m so proud to be a part of such an important show.

Elena Cebulash (Margaret)
Much Ado About Nothing (1993) | MUBI
Us applauding for our friendly neighborhood Miscellany editor whenever Margaret is onstage.

I don’t know the plot, but the music is gonna be good.

Hannah Rosenberg (Laura Caviani enthusiast)

I’ve never read or seen Much Ado. I think I’ve heard of Shakespeare, though (he’s the one with the cool earring, right?). I’ve been hearing about this production for WEEKS, and apparently you should go see it? And apparently it will be pretty good? So I think I’ll probably go because I don’t have much homework next week. And you should, too.

The Miscellany ed who shall remain nameless but still feels targeted because the other two edz are also featured in this article and by basic process of elimination it’d be pretty easy to figure out which one she is, so thanks for that.

What are you waiting for? Get your tickets now!

Film - Much Ado About Nothing - Into Film
You and all your friends on the way to Much Ado this Thursday.


  • 2023-04-29 21:02:29

    Obsessed w third 2LM editor coming to see the show because of little homework. Obsessed with her.

    • 2023-04-30 23:21:01
      Just One of the Edz

      Thanks, Maggie <3

  • 2023-05-01 00:50:27

    WOOOOOO rah rah rah

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