Truman Theatre has a new take on “Much Ado About Nothing”

The Truman State University Theatre Department will be performing William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” Nov. 10-13. 

Shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the James G. Severns Theatre in Ophelia Parish. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at

“Much Ado About Nothing” is a comedy about love, drama and deceitfulness. 

“This show is probably the most accessible Shakespearean text,” Bonnie Jeune, a senior who plays Beatrice in the show, said. “Even though it has heightened languages, it’s still pretty clear for the audience to get what is going on. I also just think it’s a lot of fun. There’s something for everyone: it’s a comedy, and there’s also some tragic elements and there’s a masquerade ball.”  

The show will be a little bit different than it is typically written and performed as. 

According to Emily Kemp, a senior who plays Benedick, they were trying to make production of the show different, because this show has been performed so many times. 

Rather than being set in the Shakespearean time period, Kemp said the show will be set in 1918 New Orleans, and will be taking inspiration from Mardi Gras.

“Shakespeare is timeless, so even though we have the given Shakespearean era, the story itself can be placed anywhere and be appropriate,” Jeune said.  

According to Jeune there has not been many difficulties in changing from the Shakespearean era to a more modern time period. 

Another notable change in the show is that the typically male lead, Benedick, is played by Kemp. 

It’s been really cool to play a typically male character,” Kemp said. “He still uses ‘he’ pronouns and he functions in the society like a man would, but it’s been really interesting leaning into the idea of having him and his love interest be a lesbian couple.”

Due to this change, Kemp says Benedick has rejected femininity and has a typically male perspective. She also mentioned how part of his character development is growing out of these views with his love interest, Beatrice. 

“It has taken a little longer for some pieces to fall into place, but it creates an image we can be proud of,” Alex Pohlman, a junior who plays Don Pedro in the show, said. 

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