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Arts and Entertainment

Shakespeare at the Columns Presents "Much Ado About Nothing"

(Poster design courtesy Actors Theatre of Missouri)

Since 2013, Actors Theatre of Missouri has presented the works of William Shakespeare at the Springfield Art Museum with their "Shakespeare at the Columns" series at the Art Museum's outdoor amphitheatre--weather permitting, of course. Their Shakespeare plays are free and open to the public. Since their first production of "Romeo and Juliet," over 2,500 audience members have seen Shakespeare's works brought to life by Actors Theatre's actors, designers, and technicians.

 Actors Theatre of Missouri, in association with The Dangerous Playground and Rice Theatricals, presents Shakespeare’s comedy "Much Ado About Nothing," directed by David Rice, this weekend and next at the Art Museum, either outdoors or, as happened on opening night, indoors in the Art Museum auditorium.  (The forecast called for rain, so they moved indoors as a precaution.)

Two cast members, Brenna Kellem and Maceo Cortezz, were here to talk about the show and the production. “Maceo plays a character named Claudio, and I play Hero—they’re kind of love interests in the show,” says Kellem. She notes that they are secondary characters, but says there’s a “big old incident when it comes to our romance throughout the show. So that’s a lot of fun to play.”

“The show kind of functions with two separate plotlines,” says Maceo Cortezz. “One is the Claudio and Hero plotline, which is ‘the young lovers meet and are disrupted by a villain who tries to break them up.’ And the other plotline is Benedict and Beatrice, two of the most famous characters in the Shakespeare comedies. They are two soon-to-be lovers who initially HATE each other with a passion.”  Hero and her friends try to “trick Beatrice into loving Benedict,” while Claudio and his friends try to trick Benedict into loving Beatrice.  “And coincidentally... it works!” adds Cortezz. “An incredibly funny plotline, and very interesting and heartfelt.”

Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays, June 21-23 and 28-30 all at 7:00pm, with seating beginning at 6:30. In case of inclement weather this weekend they’ll move indoors to the Art Museum auditorium. But because of scheduling conflicts next weekend, if there is rain in the forecast they may be renting a couple of tents to set up outdoors. For information visit Shakespeare at the Columns' new website