Bare Theatre Gives William Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” a Sci-Fi Makeover

"Much Ado About Nothing" runs Oct. 27-30 in Durham and Nov. 5, 6, and 10-13 in Raleigh
"Much Ado About Nothing" runs Oct. 27-30 in Durham and Nov. 5, 6, and 10-13 in Raleigh
"Much Ado About Nothing" runs Oct. 27-30 in Durham and Nov. 5, 6, and 10-13 in Raleigh
"Much Ado About Nothing" runs Oct. 27-30 in Durham and Nov. 5, 6, and 10-13 in Raleigh

Bare Theatre of Raleigh, NC will celebrate its 10th year with a rollicking revival of Much Ado About Nothing, one of celebrated English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies, on Oct. 27-30 at Common Ground Theatre in west Durham, NC and Nov. 5, 6, and 10-13 in Raleigh Ensemble Players Theatre in downtown Raleigh. Critically acclaimed Bare Theatre first performed Much Ado in 2001.

According to Bare Theatre:

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy about love and deception, with one of the greatest love/hate relationships in literature, between Beatrice and Benedick [Olivia Griego and Jeff Aguiar]. The two battle wits as friends and family try to trick them into loving each other.

“Meanwhile, the villainous Don John [David Klionsky] plots to tear apart the impending marriage of young lovers Claudio and Hero [Jason Bailey and Ashley Lorenz], as the dimwitted constable Dogberry [Loren Armitage] and his crew of bumbling night watchmen attempt to save the day.

“This time out, Much Ado goes steampunk! Messina, Italy gets a Victorian sci-fi makeover (think Jules Verne or H.G. Wells). Audience members are encouraged to wear steampunk attire.

“Bare Theatre managing director G. Todd Buker directs, with costumes by David Serxner and Abigail Harrington, physical direction by Heather J. Strickland and Jason Bailey, and videography by Jason Bailey and Patrick Campbell.”

Besides the actors and actresses named about Bare Theatre’s cast for Much Ado About Nothing includes Brook North as Don Pedro, Mary Forester as Margaret, Katie Anderson as Ursula, Matt Schedler as Leonato, Kurt Benrud as Antonio, Garret Stein-Seroussi as Balthazar, Gary Watts as Borachio, Jeff Buckner as Conrade, Kacey Reynolds Schedler as Verges, Stephen Wall as Friar Francis, Maegan Mercer-Bourne as Sexton, Sasha Brown as a Boy, and Miranda Curtis as the Messenger. The Watch includes Joanna Herath, Patrick Campbell, Sarah Moats, and Matt Fields.

Bare Theatre presents MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at 8 p.m. Oct. 27-29 and 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at Common Ground Theatre, 4815B Hillsborough Rd., Durham, North Carolina 27705; and 8 p.m. Nov. 5, 2 p.m. Nov. 6, 8 p.m. Nov. 10-12, and 2 p.m. Nov. 13 in Raleigh Ensemble Players Theatre at 213 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $17 ($10 students, seniors, and active-duty military personnel).

BOX OFFICE: 919/386-9571. SHOW:



Common Ground Theatre: (directions:

Raleigh Ensemble Players Theatre: (directions:

Note: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh ( will audio describe the 8 p.m. Nov. 12th performance.


The Play (background): (Wikipedia).

The Play (e-text): (Project Gutenberg).

Study Guide: (Utah Shakespeare Festival).

The Playwright: (Wikipedia).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).