Shakespeare in the Park – Past Productions
Originally formed in 1995, the Southern Shakespeare Festival was reinvigorated after a fifteen-year hiatus in its new home, Cascades Park. In 2020, there was no production in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Learn more about our production history: click on a show title to view the production’s digital playbill or click on gallery photos to view them in a larger size.
Guest starring Renee O’Connor of Xena: Warrior Princess, 2018
Photographer: Bob O’Lary
Guest starring Terry Wells and Devon Glover AKA The Sonnet Man, 2017
Photographer: Bob O’Lary
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Character breakdown by James Alexander Bond
Beatrice – Outspoken “pleasant-spirited lady” with a very sharp tongue. She is generous and loving, but mocks others with great word play & banter. She doesn’t want to marry and when she wages a war of wits she takes no prisoners. Think Kate from Shrew, but if she accepted her lot in life and people liked her.
Claudio – Also a soldier & war hero. He is the more traditional “handsome young man/lover.” His arc follows the anticipation of love and achieving it, through loss, grief, and back again. His highs are high and his lows are deep. It is important for this character to access & express emotion honestly.
Hero – The beautiful daughter of Leonato, cousin of Beatrice, and object of Claudio’s love. She is the embodiment of all a young woman should be, as opposed to Beatrice. She goes through all the joy of a storybook romance and all the pain of having it ripped away from her unjustly.
Don Pedro – An important and high-ranking nobleman who led these soldiers in war. He is generous, kind, courteous, and intelligent … if only he were not hasty to believe the worst in people and quick to take revenge.
Leonato – Well-to-do, respectable older nobleman, father to Hero, Uncle of Beatrice who he takes care of, and governor of Messina. Second in social standing only to Don Pedro.
Don John – Illegitimate brother of Don Pedro, AKA “the Bastard.” He is melancholy, sullen, and vindictive. His scheming destroys Hero & Claudio’s relationship. He is the villain, but there are much more interesting ways of playing the villain than just “villain.”
Friar Francis – like Romeo and Juliet’s Friar Laurence, but in a different play. Long-winded, well-meaning, somewhat interfering gentlemen who thinks it is a fine idea to make people believe a young girl is dead.
Margaret – A lower-class serving woman. She is honest but not too bright, does not follow social rules well, and has questionable taste in men. (Her lover is Borachio.)
Borachio – An associate of Don John’s. His name means “Drunkard” in Italian… ‘nuf said.
Conrad – Very devoted to Don John.
Dogberry – The Constable of the Night Watch and every Shakespearian actor’s dream role. Very sincere, takes his job seriously, very middle class, and has an unfortunate misunderstanding of the English language. THIS ROLE HAS BEEN CAST.
Vergas – Dogberry’s deputy & the chief policeman in Messina.
The rest of the Watch – A goofy bunch. Some can read & write. All sleuth to solve crimes … badly.
Sexton – in charge of examining the men detained by the Watch, and it is his misfortune that the Watch should be commanded by Dogberry
Antonio – Leonato’s elder brother & Beatrice’s father.
Balthasar – a waiting man in Leonato’s Household and A MUSICIAN. He is a flirt and helps plan pranks. He sings the song “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more” about accepting men’s infidelity as natural.
Boy – Benedick’s not very bright attendant who fetches a book.
Ursula – Hero’s sassy but classy maid.