Much Ado About Nothing at the USNA’s Masqueraders

| October 30, 2016
Blackwall Hitch

much-ado-logoMidshipmen from the Naval Academy’s drama group, The Masqueraders’, will perform William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing” Nov. 11 – 12 and. Nov. 18 – 19 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. in Mahan Hall at the Naval Academy.

Performances are open to the public. Tickets are on sale now for $13 and can be purchased by calling 410-293-TIXS (8497), or online at http://navyperforms.showare.com/.

This year’s performance is directed by Dr. Megan Geigner who recently took over the role as Director of the Masqueraders. Geigner is in her first year as an assistant professor in the Naval Academy’s English Department and has previously directed plays at the University of Chicago, Reed College, and Illinois State University. She also spent seven seasons working the Illinois Shakespeare Festival and she received her Ph.D. in theatre and drama from Northwestern University. Geigner has also worked with several other theatres in Chicago including Court Theatre, Remy Bumppo, and Mary Arrchie.

One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, “Much Ado about Nothing” touches on dueling ideas of love, courtship, and the proper behavior of the sexes. Set in the American southwest just after World War I, the production’s staging finds Claudio, Don Pedro, and Benedick as celebrated veterans and guests on the New Mexican estate of Leonato. Beatrice, Leonato’s outspoken niece and suffragette, matches wits with self-avowed bachelor Benedick. Meanwhile her cousin Hero is gently wooed by Claudio. But laughter turns to tears when Don Pedro’s troublesome brother slanders Hero. The crisis unifies the characters, who find unlikely help from the bumbling village police.

Shakespeare’s title engages us in its own playful repartee, playing on Elizabethan use of the word nothing; the play is much ado about noticing the opposite sex, much ado about knowing one another’s secrets, and much ado about something that did not really happen.

The Masqueraders were officially founded in 1907 and is the oldest extracurricular activity at the Naval Academy. Each fall the Masqueraders produce one main-stage show, which is selected to support the curriculum of the academy’s English department. The group also performs a series of student-directed, one-act plays every spring.

      Past fall performances have included “Translations,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “Macbeth.” They also performed “Green Grown the Lilacs” at the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian in November 2010. Their most recent plays have received 5-Star ratings from professional theatre reviewers across the DC and Baltimore regions. 

      Visitors may park at the Navy Marine Corps stadium for $5 (pricing may change for event days) and get a free shuttle to the performance. The shuttle runs an hour before and an hour after each show. The Naval Academy recommends pedestrians attending the performances walk through Gate 3 (Maryland Ave.). Visitors may also walk through Gate 1 (King George St.). All visitors 18 years-of-age and older are required to show valid, government-issued picture ID. Vehicles without a Department of Defense driver or passenger are not permitted to drive onto academy grounds. Handicapped visitors with proper decals are permitted through Gate 1 after a vehicle inspection. All bags are subject to search.

For more information about the Masqueraders’, visit www.usna.edu/Masqueraders/

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