College of DuPage College Theater Presents Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ March 1 to 18

Much Ado About Nothing logo

By Ann Fink

College of DuPage College Theater presents William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy “Much Ado About Nothing,” Thursday, March 1, to Sunday, March 18 in the McAninch Arts Center’s Studio Theatre on the Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Directed by Theater Professor Amelia Barrett, the College’s production is set in present day in a Spanish Colonial Revival resort in Palm Beach, Fla. As soldiers return from war, bachelor Benedick and his friend Claudio find themselves reacquainted with sharp-tongued Beatrice and fair Hero. Two courtships ignite and mayhem ensues as Claudio and Hero fall madly in love, Benedick and Beatrice spar and conspire, and Don John plots to wreck all romance. The play contains adult language and themes.

“Much Ado About Nothing” is estimated to have been written at the end of the 16th Century, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. In the 20th Century Sir John Gielgud made Benedick one of his signature roles between 1931 and 1959, and British actor Derek Jacobi won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Benedick in 1984. More recently, in 2013 James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave played Benedick and Beatrice on stage at The Old Vic, London.

 “For everyone who has seen a reality TV show, the tone of this play may look amazingly familiar,” said Barrett. “It demonstrates how centuries before ‘The Bachelor,’ ‘The Bachelorette’ or ‘Survivor’ crept into our living rooms, Shakespeare understood how we find high entertainment value in stories filled with scheming, confrontation and romance. These stories also are fun to direct and perform, so the cast and I are really looking forward to bringing this show to the Studio Theatre stage.”

The cast for “Much Ado About Nothing” includes Michael Bellino (Addison); Emily Besce (Bolingbrook); Devin Walleck (Carol Stream); Jordan Morris (Downers Grove); Declan Casey (Hinsdale); Phoebe Newton (Lemont); Jacob Coats (Lombard); Stephanie Turner (Lombard); Katie Lange (Lombard), Sarah Lange (Lombard); Nathan Cozzi (Naperville); Demi Hagen (Naperville); Phillip Laricchia (Oswego); Lindsay Cooper (Sycamore); Brendan Weaver (Woodridge); and Danielle Pawlowski (Woodridge).

Amelia Barrett (Director) is Professor of Theater at College of DuPage. Barrett has directed COD productions of “A Play on Words,”  “A Woman of No Importance,” , “Carmilla,” “Mustache Tales,” “The Skriker” “The Troll Booth,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” “Recent Tragic Events,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Dark Play,” “Dracula,” “Of Mice and Men,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Lucky Stiff,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Alabama Rain,” “As You Like It,” “Godspell,” “The Philadelphia Story” and “Heartland,” among others.  She has directed professionally for multiple Buffalo Theatre Ensemble productions, where she was also a member of the acting ensemble.  As an actor, she has appeared with regional companies including Idaho Repertory Theatre, internationally at the Edinburgh Festival and in Chicago venues including City Lit. Barrett is a member of Actors’ Equity Association as well as the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of Texas at Austin and a Graduate Certificate in Laban Movement Analysis from Columbia College, Chicago.

The design team includes Jon Gantt (scenic design), Kimberly G. Morris (costume, hair and make-up design), and Michael W. Moon (sound and lighting design). Stage manager is Julie Good (Naperville), John Belushi/College Stage Manager Scholarship Recipient.

A pre-show discussion with designers and director is set for 6:45 p.m. Thursday, March 1. A post-show discussion with the director, actors and crew is scheduled for Friday, March 9.

Tickets are $14 for students and $16 for adults. For tickets or more information call (630) 942-4000 or visit

Support is made possible by a generous gift from the College of DuPage Foundation’s Dr. Donald and Helen (Gum) Westlake Fund for Student Productions.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2018 College of DuPage