by Sarah Mummert, Student Public Relations Writer
This April, Cedarville University’s theatre department will perform its adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies: “Much Ado About Nothing.” The show will run April 13-23 in the DeVries Theatre.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the information desk in the Stevens Student Center.
This classic comedy uses themes of suspicion and loyalty, deception and honor, jealousy and true love, to weave together the humorous story of how two couples find love — whether they want it or not.
Shakespeare’s plays are often set in time periods other than the original Elizabethan Era of the late 1500s. Cedarville’s production pays homage to the Regency Era, primarily in its influence of design, which is also mixed with more contemporary elements.
The process of adapting this play began in the spring of 2022, in the Performing Shakespeare class taught by Stacey Stratton, assistant professor of theatre and director of the production.
“With this play, we’re looking to serve both the original work and the contemporary audience,” said Stratton. “By strengthening themes that are appropriate for our audience, this adaptation focuses on a simple plot that allows the characters to feel more relatable.”
But beyond the adaptation, both the director and one of the cast members have special connections to this play.
Stratton has long regarded this play as one of her favorites.
“I was excited to adapt a script I was very familiar with,” she said. “I considered it a personal challenge.”
Sam Acosta, starring as Benedick in the upcoming production, appeared in the same role in a middle school performance, a performance that changed his life.
“This show ignited my love for theatre,” said Acosta, a senior theatre major from Fishers, Indiana. “Being able to be part of that show again, especially in the same role, is an incredible full circle moment for me and has truly been a joyful experience.”
The show promises an immersive audience experience as part of the new presentation of a classic play.
“Our hope is that the audience sees that Shakespeare’s work is still relevant, and we want them to come away with a greater appreciation of Shakespearean comedy,” said Stratton.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual-enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in theatre, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.