Upper school fall play debuts November 1 at GPS Evans Center.
Let’s travel together to Shakespeare’s Messina, on the isle of Sicily, where love and scandal meet with The Bard’s beautiful word play and poetry. Much Ado About Nothing interweaves two plots that explode in a volcanic fourth act. The marriage of Claudio and Hero is apparently destroyed through the efforts of the deceitful Don John, but these efforts help to bring about another great love story between Benedick and Beatrice.
“This play has seen many notable live productions over the centuries, and has been adapted into numerous films,” says Director Mark Krawczyk, who joined the GPS performing arts department this fall. “Probably the best-known versions are both the 2012 film directed by Joss Whedon and the 1993 film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring the likes of Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton, and British luminaries (who later appeared in the Harry Potter films) like Kenneth Branagh himself, Emma Thompson, and Imelda Staunton. Much Ado About Nothing is a delightful and daring look into how Shakespeare used comedy to bring his audience to understand the highs and lows of love.”
For Krawczyk, the play was an instinctive choice. Not only has he portrayed Conrade in a professional production in Baltimore, but he’s also co-directed a summer production with Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., and incorporated elements of it in teaching and coaching monologues over the years. “I love this play and know it inside and out,” he says. “There is much for young people to discover in it. The realistic storytelling speaks to a lot of what is going on in the world today—so much social discord at times about really nothing.”
The serious layers of the plot are carefully balanced with light layers of action, slapstick comedy, and word play. As the characters ask, What is the meaning of the love they feel? the audience understands it’s right there in the title. Love really is much ado about nothing.
With plenty of parts to go around, including featured roles as well as ensemble parts, Krawczyk encouraged all interested students to come out and be a part of this play, his first coordinate production with GPS and McCallie Upper School students.
Please join us for what is sure to be an energetic production of this beloved comedy. Three performances of Much Ado About Nothing are scheduled in GPS Evans Fine Arts Center, November 1-3, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $8 and are on sale now at GPSMuchAdo.EventBrite.com.
Photo credits: GPS MarComm Club members Grace Alford and Laura Graff.