Much Ado About Nothing
About the production
The soldiers return victorious from war, but the merry sparring - and sparks - between the stubborn bachelor Benedict and the self-assured Beatrice have just begun! Meanwhile, young Claudio and Hero are standing at the altar when schemes of the villainous Don John threaten to sour everyone's happiness. Now, all hope for happy endings lies in the hands of the bumbling members of the Night’s Watch. Shakespeare's highly celebrated, romantic and razor-witted comedy gives us the battle of the sexes as a delicious war of words, striking hilarious chords and revealing timeless truths about love, change and acceptance.
Much Ado About Nothing is the eighth production in the “Penfold in the Park” series, an annual offering of free, outdoor summer theatre, made possible by a partnership with the Round Rock Parks & Recreation Department.
See below for a full synopsis of the play. The production is directed by Ryan Crowder. Performances run May 31 - June 23 at the Round Rock Amphitheater (301 W Bagdad Ave, Round Rock, TX 78664). Rehearsals will begin in around May 1st.
Player 1: Benedick (precast)
Player 2: Beatrice
Player 3: Claudio
Player 4: Hero / Dogberry (?)
Player 5: Leonato / Don John / Dogberry (?)
Player 6: Margaret / Borachio / Verges / Sexton / Friar
All roles are paid. Equity and non-Equity actors are welcome. Actors of all ethnicities are welcome.
Reserving an audition
Auditions will be held Saturday, January 13th. To request a time, please submit your information through the Audition Request Form. You will be asked to read sides from the show, which you will receive with your audition time. We also request that you bring a headshot and resume to your audition.
Audition times and sides will be sent shortly after the new year.
Synopsis of the play
The play is set in and near the house of Leonato, governor of Messina, Sicily. Soldiers Benedick and Claudio come to Leonato's after winning a victory in battle. Claudio instantly falls in love with Hero, Leonato's only child. While they wait for the wedding day, Leonato, Claudio and Hero amuse themselves by gulling Benedick and Beatrice (Leonato's niece), verbal adversaries who share a merry wit and a contempt for conventional love, into believing that they are hopelessly in love with each other.
Meanwhile, Don John, an envious and mischief-making malcontent, plots to break the match between Claudio and Hero and employs Conrade and Borachio to assist him. After planting the suspicion in Claudio's mind that Hero is wanton, Don John confirms it by having Borachio talk to Hero's maid, Margaret, at the chamber window at midnight, as if she were Hero. Convinced by this hoax, Claudio disgraces Hero before the altar at the wedding, rejecting her as unchaste. Shocked by the allegation, which her father readily accepts, Hero swoons away, and the friar, who believes in her innocence, intervenes. At his suggestion, she is secretly sent to her uncle's home and publicly reported dead in order to soften the hearts of her accusers as well as lessen the impact of gossip. Leonato is grief-stricken.
Benedick and Beatrice, their sharp wit blunted by the pain of the slander, honestly confess their love for each other before the same altar. Benedick proves his love by challenging his friend Claudio to a duel to requite the honor of Beatrice's cousin, Hero. Borachio, overheard by the watch as he boasts of his false meeting with Hero, is taken into the custody of Constable Dogberry and clears Hero; but Don John has fled. Her innocence confirmed, her father, satisfied with Claudio's penitent demeanor, directs him to hang verses on her tomb that night and marry his niece, sight unseen, the next morning, which Claudio agrees to do in a double wedding with Beatrice and Benedict. He joyfully discovers that the masked lady he has promised to marry is Hero. The play ends with an account of Don John being detained by the local authorities.