American Shakespeare Center Brings Much Ado About Nothing to Olin

Created: March 13, 2015  |  Last Updated: September 30, 2021  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (March 12, 2015) — The W&J College Arts Series continues March 25 with The American Shakespeare Center Method in Madness Tour production of Much Ado About Nothing.

The one-night-only performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on the Olin Fine Arts Center Stage at Washington & Jefferson College (W&J). Tickets are required and can be reserved by contacting the Olin Box Office at 724-223-6546.

Much Ado About Nothing is the tale of the villainous Don John and his plan to ruin the wedding of Claudio and Hero, a young couple that, in a scheme of their own, try to trick Beatrice and Benedick into admitting their love for each other. Described by the American Shakespeare Center as a “powerful comedy full of sparkling wit,” Shakespeare’s classic shares with audiences both the joy of love, and the heartbreak of its loss.

The American Shakespeare Center brings a unique performance style to Olin, blending Shakespeare’s stage craft with modern sensibility. The company uses Shakespeare’s staging conditions, including universal lighting, minimal sets, doubling, cross-gender casting, and music.

Leaving the lights on the audience allows members to interact with the actors by playing the roles Shakespeare wrote for them: Romans in Julius Caesar, wedding guests in Much Ado about Nothing, and Hamlet’s confidant when he ponders the question “to be or not to be.” Also true to Shakespeare’s performances, the actors play contemporary music before the show and during the interlude.

The Method in Madness Tour production of Much Ado about Nothing features fashion and music of the 1970s, including a full disco dance number. Real-life husband and wife Patrick and Stephanie Earl star opposite each other as Benedick and Beatrice. The show also features ASC newcomer Susie Parr as Hero opposite Tim Sailer as Claudio; and Andrew Goldwasser as the linguistically-challenged constable Dogberry. The cast rounds out with Stephen Brunson as Borachio, Ben Gorman as Leonato, Josh Innerst as Don Pedro, Emily Joshi-Powell as Margaret, Alexandra Leigh as Ursula, and Patrick Poole as Don John.

The approximate run time for “Much Ado About Nothing” is two hours and 12 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission.

Individual tickets for all Arts Series events are $12 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens over 60 years of age, W&J alumni and non-W&J students; and $7 for children 12 years of age and younger.

*The Olin Box Office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., and all day on the day of a show. Olin Fine Arts Center and the Box Office are located at 285 East Wheeling Street in Washington, Pa. 15301, and can be reached at 724-223-6546.


About the American Shakespeare Center

Since 1988, the American Shakespeare Center has toured the country with shows incorporating Shakespeare’s staging conditions. Based out of Staunton, VA, the company mission is to recover the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its practices through performance and education. The ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, is open year-round for productions of classic plays, which have been hailed by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal…bursting with energy." Founded in 1988 as Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, the organization became the American Shakespeare Center in 2005 and can be found online at


About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

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