DePauw’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” took place outside of the GCPA in the Theta Garden on Friday night to a hillside full of onlookers.
Seemingly impractical for such a production, the Garden was transformed into a perfect outdoor amphitheater. The stage featured multiple entry and exit points, as well as a seating arrangement not so unlike one found in an indoor theater, only with grass instead of upholstery.
“Doing it outside just brings everyone together into a community,” said junior Laura Loy, one of the show’s two directors. “Everyone was in one place together experiencing the same sort of thing.”
Luckily, the weather cooperated. The sun, and eventually moon, offered great natural lighting that added to the show's Shakespearian vibe.
Not only did it take place outside, but the play was spoken as it was originally written back in 1599.
“There are little words that we have had to hammer into our cast’s heads,” Loy said.
Some of the cast found it difficult to learn the lines and speak in the almost foreign tongue.
“There’s ‘doth’ and then there is ‘troth’,” said senior Kevin Courtade, the man behind the character of Claudio. “I always got them confused.”
The play, though speaking the language, still took place in modern times. The actors wore the clothes appropriate for their characters, including maxi-skirts and suits.
“The story is still the same,” Courtade said, “but some of the props we have and our actions are still closer to modern day.”
A particular party scene exemplifies the production's modernity. The characters enterted stage, chanting Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” whilst sipping from modern bottles of liquor such as Malibu coconut rum and Smirnoff vodka.
“The way Shakespeare is written, you can place it in any time period or any place and still get the message across,” Loy said. “It still is relevant and we still are able to get all of this comedy out of it.
The crowd surely agreed with her, as they couldn’t go longer than a minute or two without howling and rolling in the grass.
“It’s like a romantic comedy basically,” said sophomore Hannah Gauthier, who played the role of Hero.
Aside from the language, the production displayed only minor downfalls at best.
The sound of chirping crickets sometimes drowned out the actors, forcing the directors to incorporate some technical equipment they had hoped to avoid.
“All the bugs are out and you can’t really hear over them,” said junior Alison Howard, the production’s second director, “so we had to set up mics.”
Aside from this minor detail, however, the show ran smoothly, keeping the audience entertained and amused for a good two hours.
The question to ask is not whether the Theta Garden should stage the production of another play. The question is when.