In September 2014 we took Shakespeare for a site-specific spin in a historic downtown church. In our adaptation of his beloved “Much Ado About Nothing”, newly-elected senator Don Peter, stops by “Messina”, the home of wealthy supporter, Leo, bringing with him an unruly entourage including chief of staff, Benedick, press secretary, Claudio, disaffected daughter Donna and her posse. Add Leo’s daughter, Hero and niece Beatrice, old grudges and new intrigues to the mix and ado ensued. Audiences dressed in black and white entered into the spirit of the event, following the action upstairs and down, indoors and out, from cloister garden to ballroom to kitchen to library to chapel to sanctuary, sometimes spectators, sometimes a part of the action.
Directed by Ave Lawyer.
With Janet Scott, Tom Philips, Roger Leasor, Paul Thomas, Zach Dearing, Kelsey Waltermire, Meredith Crutcher, Courtney Waltermire, Cari Bingham, Tanner Gray, Troy Walton, Stephanie Peniston and Galen Velonis. Special guest artist Heather Parrish.
PREVIEW: ‘On the Verge finds a place to play with Shakespeare’ By Candace Chaney
Ave Lawyer has become something of a location scout. Since the debut of her theater group On the Verge in 2008, Lawyer has directed site-specific plays in locations ranging from historic homes to funeral homes to clothing boutiques. Unconfined by a traditional space or even a conventional season format, On the Verge selectively produces shows when the time, location, and material are just right. Read more
REVIEW ‘Much Ado’ takes site-specific theater to new levels’ By Candace Chaney
On the Verge Theater has an established record of creating one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences with site-specific productions in locations as varied as a clothing boutique and a funeral home. But its latest production, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (which is billed as Much Ado), performed at Central Christian Church, is the group’s most ambitious and most interesting yet. Director Ave Lawyer tapped an all-star cast in an updated version of the play that is both entertaining, innovative, and immersive in a way that takes site-specific playing to the next level. Her imaginative leap to contemporary times as the play’s setting is a risky move, but it succeeds in large part because of the clever way the audience encounters the sprawling space, which itself becomes a character, like the audience. Read more
Enduring thanks to Central Christian Church, Joe Artz and Nick Kouns, John Campbell, Tim Campbell, Lynn Gray, Hammond Communications Group, Barbara Hinkle, Alberta Labrillazo, Lisa Gammel Maas, Antiques, Dana Kelly Oriental Rugs, Nick Nickl, Dr. Sherri Phelps, Gay Reading, Shakespeare, Shuffle Bean, Demethra Sanders. Michael Sorg, Stephen Lawrence, Ltd., Transylvania University and Woodford Theatre. Beatrice kitty, you’ll always have a special place in our hearts.