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Much Ado About Nothing combines Shakespearean drama with modern humor

By Zachary Billiot
On August 31, 2017

Alpha Psi Omega presented "Much Ado About Nothing" in the Vonnie Borden Theatre. Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

Alpha Psi Omega is no stranger to hosting productions at the Vonnie Borden Theatre in D Vickers Hall. This past Monday night was the first public presentation of APO’s modern adaptation of the classic William Shakespeare play “Much Ado About Nothing.” The production premiered on Monday, Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the same time.

Elisabeth Odom, an alumna and director of “Much Ado About Nothing” explained what strangers and fans of Shakespeare can expect of this modern interpretation.

“A bit of insanity but in the best way,” said Odom. “When you’ve been seeing it, that kind of sums it up.”

Bruce Javery, a senior communication major and committee head of APO elaborated Odom’s statement.

“Those who come to this show can expect to be surprised, to be filled with laughter, and to be captivated with both the beauty and the intricacy of William Shakespeare himself,” said Javery.

APO’s modernized version differed from the traditional play to expand its audience.

“When the director, Elisabeth Odom, was doing this production, she wanted to make it very clear that Shakespeare was for everyone, not just scholarly people,” said Shirley Mier, vice president of APO and a junior general studies major with a focus in theatre. “We wanted to make it very clear that anyone can enjoy Shakespeare, not just theatre nerds, not just English majors.”

Javery further explained some of the differences between the original work and APO’s version.

“They sit this one in a more modern kind of sense, but they still use the original iambic pentameter, and they use very little staging and set design,” said Javery. “It all comes together brilliantly well, and it helps add emphasis to the piece.”

Odom shared her thoughts on how “Much Ado About Nothing” was received.

“I’m ecstatic,” said Odom. “The first half went down fantastically, and it’s amazing. Since I haven’t gotten to see it with an audience, I’m enjoying finding the spots that the audience finds funny that maybe we haven’t thought about yet, which is always fun.”

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