Shakespeare at Muskingum

Last Wednesday, Muskingum’s Special Events Committee brought in the American Shakespeare Center to perform Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in Brown Chapel. The event was widely attended by college students and community members alike, probably due in part to the amazing fact that the performance was free. The troupe set the play in the 70s, with period costumes and live music. The music was my favorite part (of course, I am a music major…) because it was neat to see how multitalented all of the actors and actresses were. They would rotate playing various instruments (banjo, string bass, guitar, trombone, drums, harmonica, trumpet, ukelele) and singing, and the music added another layer to the classic comedy. Also, the play was very funny! Most of us have only read Shakespeare in a class setting, which leads to a lot of dissecting hard-to-understand English and analyzing what Shakespeare is trying to say. When you see the play performed live, it is all about the characters and plot and comedy, and you understand why Shakespeare was so popular in the first place and remains so today. Even if the language is dated, the jokes are still relevant, as are the characters and their stories. The actors and actresses also involved the audience a lot, as they would’ve in Shakespeare’s time. Some audience members sat right on the stage, others were pointed out as characters would make jokes or speak their monologues. It was an extremely enjoyable performance, and I am so glad I went! Just one of many neat opportunities Muskingum provides!

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