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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Much Ado About Nothing actors talk on Spring Term production

Next Thursday, Carleton’s theater department is kicking off a five-show run of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in the Weitz’s Black Box venue.


Cast, crew and a Carleton audience look forward to a live jazz band from the Twin Cities, Lindy Hop and Charleston performances and a magical transformation of the Weitz to fulfill the play’s 1920s aesthetic.


The setting of this particular production also calls for energetic dance sequences, spearheaded by Lindy Hop student teacher Karina Yum ’23.  “We’re trying to capture the spontaneity and improvisation of social dance settings,” Karina said of training the cast in Lindy and Charleston.


This particular production runs in tandem with an English course co-led by Shakespeare scholar Dr. Pierre Hecker and director Dr. Andrew Carlson.  The student production team have spent weeks studying the text, its context and the most engaging ways to press forward with this particular iteration of Much Ado.


Actor Collin Preves ’24 plays Benedick, the play’s swaggering — though eventually softening — male lead alongside Skye Sparks’s Beatrice.  Collin says that “Benedick is a funny character, but he, like the play, oscillates in tone. He, as the other male characters do, puts on masks, but there are crucial times in which you catch him at his most vulnerable and stripped-down.  The challenge is balancing his humor with his humanity, and diving into the gray of his character has been the greatest joy of playing him.”


The timeless romance play features one of Shakespeare’s most beloved love stories, witty banter and plenty of hilarious gags and antics.  This adaptation leans into the source text to also dig into the nuance of gender in Shakespeare’s time, the Roaring Twenties and today.

“Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed from Thursday, May 4 to Sunday, May 7 in the Weitz’s Black Box Theater. The production will run a 7:30 p.m. performance each evening plus an additional 2 p.m. matinée on Saturday, May 6.  Tickets are available now at

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