Summer Shakespeare Performance Announced
Posted on 07/09/2018
Summer Shakespeare Theatre will present the Bard’s popular comedy, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, July 20TH -29TH in the Appleton North High School auditorium, 5000 North Ballard Road. 

This marks the nineteenth year of the program sponsored by the Fox Valley Summer School Consortium. A cast and crew of over 30 students from area high schools have spent six weeks learning about Shakespeare and the theatre of the Renaissance while preparing a play for public performance. 

Appleton North High School theatre instructor, Ron Parker, began the program in the Fox Valley after founding and directing a similar program in Kenosha for 13 years.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity for students interested in theatre to study and perform the work of the greatest playwright in the English language. 

In addition, students from various schools in the area have a chance to meet and work together. Our previous season’s productions have been very well received. We look forward to even better things in the future.” 

Audiences who attend this summer’s performances of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING will be treated to elaborate Renaissance costumes, authentic period dances, an original musical score written by London composer Jay Chakravorty, and a variety of Shakespeare’s most memorable and humorous characters. 

In addition, one of the student actors will portray Shakespeare himself and will provide pre-play commentary as well as mingle with audience members during the show.

Audiences will be seated directly on the stage to be nearer to the action which was typical of performances in Shakespeare’s era. 

Written over 400 years ago, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is one of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies.  The story is set in the Italian countryside of Messina.   

When gallant prince, Don Pedro, his nefarious brother Don John, and close confidantes Claudio and Benedick arrive at the estate of the prince’s close friend, Leonato, romance, gaiety, and suspicion abound. The men have returned safely from a war, and soon everyone in the sun-drenched villa is abuzz with thoughts of love.

Claudio, enamored of the purity of  Leonato’s beautiful daughter, Hero, entreats Don Pedro to woo the maiden on his behalf that evening at a masked ball.

Once he's managed the successful betrothal of Hero to Claudio, Don Pedro has another plot in mind: he plans to trick Hero's shrewish, bantering cousin Beatrice and sworn bachelor Benedick into acknowledging they've fallen in love.

Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, driven by contempt for his compatriots, has hatched a plot of his own: to fool Claudio and Don Pedro into believing Hero is unchaste. The plot works perfectly: sensitive but volatile Claudio denounces her publicly on their wedding day.

All seems lost, and soon the attempts to set things right include a formal duel, a scheming friar, a mock memorial and a gaggle of bumbling constables. 

The play ends happily with the villain captured and the lovers reunited in marriage, but not before the audience has been treated to hilarious characters and situations which is Shakespeare at his comedic best.

Performance times are 7:00 P.M. on July 20th, 21st, 27th  AND 28th and 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, July 22nd and  29th.  Admission is $10.00.   

Tickets can be purchased at the door one hour before performance time.

All seats are general admission.  For further information can be found at https://foxvalleysummershakespeare.wordpress.com/ or by contacting Ron Parker, director at 707-0487,  by e-mail, parkerronaldc@aasd.k12.wi.us.
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