Crimson Chronicle Reporter
“Much Ado About Nothing” is the most high school play that was ever written for non high school actors. The title is a play on words because “much ado” means the big conflict, the drama, actually happens over nothing. More often than not with high school drama, nothing actually happens, but people think something happened, word gets spread around, and before you realize it, people are at each other’s throats.
But high school drama isn’t the only topic this play touches upon.
The production is set in the 1940s, which makes room for more unique and creative costume designs unlike the traditionally Shakespearean guard. It also sets the play at the end of World War II, when soldiers are returning home from war.
The opening act starts with a masquerade scene featuring Sing, sing, sing by Benny Goodman, which serves as almost a catalyst for us to “examine some of America’s more troubling past,” said John Tourtellotte, PAM theater teacher. While the topic of mixed race units in the American military during the second World War is not directly discussed in the play, it is discussed in regards to the context of the play, and viewers are encouraged to think about it as well.
In addition, the play sheds some light on the topic of toxic masculinity. As you watch the play, keep in mind how the problems start. Which characters act irrationally and lash out at others? In society, we often hear that women are the emotional ones, while the only emotion men are allowed to have is anger. This toxic masculinity is portrayed very clearly in the beginning of the play, but as the story progresses, various male characters are forced to face the consequences of their actions.
“Forgiveness is a huge, huge thematic element as well in this play and whether or not we deserve forgiveness,” said Tourtellotte. “Most of us in life have done something that we really, really, really want to take back. And we may not deserve to be forgiven for it, but we hope you’ll forgive it anyway—That’s what some of those characters experience.”
Everyone has different opinions when it comes to forgiveness; therefore, the ending of the play may be considered controversial to some. Some might not agree with the way it ended, while others may think it was a beautiful ending. But that’s what creates authentic dialogue about the topics discussed in “Much Ado About Nothing.”
The cast consists of a diverse group of theater students, with six lead actors: Bella Harris, Immanuel Tims, Chance Mamo, Lance Encarguez, Karla Chavez, and Bella Holguin.
Opening night of the play is Friday at 7pm, with two more shows the following days, 7pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Tickets are available for pre-sale for $5, and regular tickets will be $7 for students, $10 for adults.
Link to get tickets: https://httpswwwhollywoodhighschoolnet.ludus.com/index.php