Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” to tour Montreal parks this summer

Repercussion Theatre Brings 29th Shakespeare-in-the-Park to New Locations

 

Quincy Armorer, Dakota Jamal Wellman, Tiernan Cornford and Holly Gauthier-Frankel (Photo by ©Studio Baron Photo)

MONTREAL, JUNE 23, 2017 – From July 13 to August 15 inclusive, Repercussion Theatre presents Much Ado About Nothing for its annual family-friendly Shakespeare-in-the-Park (SITP) tour. Directed by Repercussion’s Artistic Director, Amanda Kellock, the production blends seasoned and emerging actors and designers to create a magical evening of theatre under the stars. Continuing its expansion into new neighbourhoods, Repercussion adds Greenfield Park, Town of Mount Royal, LaSalle and Rivière-des-Prairies to the tour, along with Cornwall, Ontario.

Much Ado About Nothing examines deception and gender inequality through a confluence of plot lines. Claudio, a young soldier returned from war, asks Don Pedro to woo the beautiful Hero on his behalf but once won, Claudio’s affections quickly vanish when he is falsely led to believe that Hero has cheated on him. Meanwhile Beatrice and Benedick, committed bachelors, humorously illuminate the downside of traditional gender roles through an ongoing and rigorous battle of wits. Claudio’s instant attraction to Hero, his public renunciation and eventual betrothal highlight the fickle side of love yet, as powerful in its vulnerability as it is comical in its capriciousness, love triumphs over treachery in the end, and both couples are happily united.

Director Amanda Kellock elaborates on the play’s themes. “This play involves good people making bad choices, hurting those they care about and their actions are so extreme it’s hard to imagine any form of reconciliation. But in order to do this play we have to ask ourselves: ‘How do we truly atone for our mistakes? How does forgiveness work? How do we keep moving towards each other, even when it feels impossibly hard?’ Audiences might watch the show and think, ‘I would have known better!’, but as Benedick says, ‘Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.’”

Dakota Jamal Wellman, a recent Bishops University graduate who toured with Geordie Productions this past season, is the young and impressionable Claudio, who falls for the beautiful and chaste, Hero, played by Tiernan Cornford in her professional debut while on summer break from her first year at Concordia University. Quincy Armorer, Black Theatre Workshop’s Artistic Director and the imperious Oberon from SITP’s silver anniversary production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is Benedick, sparring partner for the independent and feisty Beatrice, inhabited by Holly Gauthier-Frankel, returning to SITP after her debut in last year’s all-female Julius Caesar. In his fifth SITP production, Matthew Kabwe returns as Don Pedro to woo fair Hero for Claudio. Dean Patrick Fleming, former Geordie Productions Artistic Director, stretches his acting muscles digging into the polar opposite characters of the manipulative Don John and Verges, the straight-man sidekick to one of Shakespeare’s most hilarious fools, Dogberry, played by one of Montreal’s best actors, Chip Chuipka, who also portrays the servant Balthazar. Hero’s respected and well-to-do uncle, Leonato, has morphed into a female Leonata, played by Susan Glover, a veteran actor of impeccable comedic timing also coming on board with SITP for the first time. Anurag Choudhury, born in Oman but a Montrealer for the past six years, is both Borachio, Don John’s crafty associate, and the Friar, who devises a plan to extricate Hero from her shameful predicament. Playwright, actor and musician, Sarah Segal-Lazar, is Margaret, an unwitting partner to Borachio in Don John’s devious plan and Hero’s bawdy serving woman. Ursula, a returning soldier in this production as well as another of Don John’s entourage, is played by Cara Krisman, currently in her last year at the National Theatre School of Canada.

The decor and costumes work in unison to reflect a universe unto itself with Sabrina Miller’s romantic set inspired by Italian Renaissance gardens and Sophie El-Assaad’s costumes borrowing from the joie-de-vivre fashions of post-WWII. Former SITP stage manager, Jacynthe Lalonde, designs the lighting while Troy Slocum creates the sound and original music for Shakespeare’s lyrics. Samantha Bitonti is the Assistant Director and Danielle Laurin stage manages.

POCKET SHAKESPEARE: For the second year, all of the SITP communities will be able to enjoy every nuance of the Bard’s English thanks to Plank Design, who designed an application that enables Francophone audiences to follow the text by reading French sub-titles on their smart phones.

SHAKESPEARE-BEFORE-THE-SHOW: Repercussion Theatre is partnering with Geordie Productions to give young audiences fun and innovative ways to engage with Shakespeare. There are three 2-hour Introduction to Shakespeare workshops available for kids and teens at a cost of $35. Participants will learn what all the “foresooths” and “wherefores” are about, experience the fun of speaking Shakespeare and meet the cast of Much Ado About Nothing. Maximum 10 per class. Register online at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­http://geordie.ca/gtsworkshops.

Repercussion Theatre is also teaming up with McGill University’s Early Modern Conversions Project to host an informative pre-show discussion on Tuesday August. 1st at 6pm at the McGill Campus site prior to that evening’s performance.



SHOW SCHEDULE

All performances begin at 7pm

July
13th – Baie d’Urfé
14th – Cornwall
15th – Knowlton
16th – Park Extension
18th – Pierrefonds
19th – Kirkland
20th – Dorval
21st – Canadian Centre for Architecture
22nd – Westmount
23rd – Westmount
25th – Verdun
26th – Côte-Saint-Luc
27th -Town of Mount Royal
28th – Beaconsfield
29th – Huntingdon
30th – NDG

August
1st – McGill University Campus
2nd – Brossard
3rd – Mount Royal Cemetery
4th – Ville Saint-Laurent
5th – Rivière-des-Prairies
6th – Plateau-Mont-Royal
8th – Westmount
9th – Westmount
10th – LaSalle
11th – Morin Heights
12th – Ville-Marie
13th – Hemmingford
15th – Greenfield Park

For park details & maps, visit www.repercussiontheatre.com/muchado


ABOUT REPERCUSSION THEATRE

The mission of Repercussion Theatre is to deliver professional, classically based, visually dynamic theatre that is accessible to all, regardless of income, culture, language, age or education. Repercussion brings the performing arts to people in their communities, reaching new audiences and instilling in them, a lifelong love of theatre. For more information, visit the web site at www.repercussiontheatre.com

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