By William Shakespeare
Directed by Carly Chamberlain*
Nov. 4–19, 2016
The war is over! Or is it? The soldiers may be returning, but between Benedick and Beatrice, the battle is just beginning. William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is a lively showdown between the sexes with missed connections and romantic hijinks. Despite obstacles of all sorts and the meddling of some quirky characters, truth and honesty wins the day with love conquering all.
Approximate running time with intermission: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- VIDEO: Trailer
- Production Photography
- VIDEO: Design Teaser
- Production Team
- Media Release
- Director’s Notes
* The participation of this Artist is arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance/Opera/Theatre Policy (DOT).
Three Week Run
Week 1: Fri. and Sat. at 8 pm
Week 2: Wed. to Sat. at 8 pm
Week 3: Wed. to Sat. at 8 pm and Sat. at 2 pm
Postshow Talkbacks: Sat., Nov. 5 and Thurs., Nov. 10
Preshow Artist Chat: Sat., Nov. 19 at 1 pm
Adults: $28 / Seniors: $17 / Students: $15
$12 Student tickets every Wednesday
www.uofttix.ca / 416.978.8849
A confession: while I’ve spent the majority of the past decade working on Shakespeare’s texts, our relationship has been complicated, to say the least. I love his words, his characters, his stories. But these plays were written hundreds of years ago; to view them as “universal” is to ignore the importance of context. Staging his plays without thought and re-examination is the work of museums, not theatre-makers. So as theatre-makers, how do we enter into and interrogate a text anew, seeking to reveal its connections and differences with our lives now?
With so much tension in the play about the choice to stay independent versus the choice to marry, the 1940s has proven a fruitful contextual springboard to jump off from. World War II saw women take on new roles in the workforce and gain more agency, but when the war came to an end, a kind of social conflict was created. Was this new independence temporary? Should we all go back to valuing family lives above all? How much choice do we have in the matter? This moment of change serves as the subtle background for our story: where young people grapple with their ideas of love and marriage versus the
realities, for better and for worse.
To me, love is the willingness to risk seeing and being seen, as we truly are…and as they truly are. How fitting and complicated then, that Much Ado is a story of masks, hiding, public personas, secrets…These characters, as many of us do, wear masks. They put up walls of bravado and pride, react in jealousy, see things as black and white: protecting
themselves from getting hurt. But the masks and walls also prevent them from really being seen, and thus, prevent any real human connection. So each character has to ask themselves, which is worse: to connect and risk pain, or to never connect?
In pursuit of this question, we’ve asked and answered many more along the way. Can we trust our first impressions? Where does jealousy come from? Can pride and fear be overcome? What makes forgiveness possible? In the spirit of lifting the mask, and endeavouring to no longer see things as black and white, we are honoured to share our take on Much Ado About Nothing with you. It’s a love story. It’s a comedy. But also not. And not.
Carly Chamberlain, Director
Hart House Theatre offers student matinees at the low price of $15 per student, and complementary tickets for teachers and chaperones.
Tentatively scheduled performances:
- Tues., Nov. 8 at 12 pm
- Wed. Nov. 9 at 12 pm
- Tues., Nov. 15 at 12 pm
For more information and to book a performance please call the Box Office at 416.978.8849.