NEC Open Door Theatre Presents Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"
The Open Door Theatre at New England College will present three encore performances of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing on Thursday, September 11 and Friday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 14 at 3:00 p.m. All performances will be held at the Mainstage Theatre in the Science Building on Depot Hill Road in Henniker. Tickets are $10 for students, seniors, and members of the New England College community and $12 for adults, and may be reserved by calling the box office at 603-428-2485.
One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of two couples either professing or denying their love, and the suspicions and sabotage that threaten to undo them. At the climax of the play, confessions are extracted over a feigned death and the cruel plot is discovered and unraveled by the bumbling constabulary.
Although the original play is set in Renaissance Italy, the Open Door Theatre’s adaptation is reset in New Jersey around 1964 where the dons are members of organized crime and the music is by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin. The contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s original play is the work of Don Melander, Professor of English at New England College.
According to Glenn Stuart, Professor of Theatre at New England College, “Much Ado is one of Shakespeare’s most approachable plays. Placing the story in a contemporary setting makes the production more accessible to today’s audiences and communicates the message of the original more fully.” Stuart goes on to explain that, “Contemporizing one of Shakespeare’s works is not inconsistent with performance practices of the period. Shakespeare cast some of his plays in another time or location but used clothing, language, and customs that were current with his time.”
The Open Door Theatre was founded in 2003 by an ensemble of alumni and current students from the New England College Department of Theatre.