Much Ado About Shakespeare

After eight long years, the antics of Shakespeare have returned to Oakland University. Starting Feb. 2, the department of music, theatre and dance will present nine performances of their rendition of the playwright’s classic “Much Ado About Nothing.”

The timeless play focuses on the “merry war” that breaks out at home after friends and family are reunited following the end of an armed war. The devilish Don John interrupts the back and forth bickering between Beatrice, played by Lauren Knox, and Benedict, played by Jake Wood.

“Performing Shakespeare brings so much joy because there my passion for acting is met with my love for language, poetry and wit,” said Knox, senior acting major and self-proclaimed Shakespeare enthusiast.

Shakespeare’s work can be daunting for some, intimidation only starting with the commonly confusing language. But with only four weeks to rehearse, both Knox and director Lynnae Lehfeldt said with confidence that the play has been modeled to appeal to the masses.

“Our ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is going to be a fast-paced romp,” Lehfeldt said. “It’s full of romance, comedy and drama. There will be singing and dancing, and it will be truly beautiful in every way.”

The play has been cut down to two hours, including an intermission, and a few artistic liberties have been taken to ensure that all can enjoy its clever twists.

That aside, anyone who has read the play knows that it lacks a very important aspect of theater: stage directions.

But as Knox points out, this only leaves more room for artistic expression.

“There’s such an opportunity to experiment and explore,” she said.

Knox compares the play to a dance, a tango to be exact, commenting on Shakespeare’s sonnet and well-timed interaction between characters.

“(There are) two forces both in opposition and compliment, constantly moving: slow, quick, quick, slow,” she said. “With passion, both dark and light.”

Knox encourages students to see the play for themselves, whether or not they’re familiar with the piece.

“The lighting and sound make you feel like you really are in Italy,” she said. “There may even be some acoustic guitar.”

Performances will be held in the Varner Studio Theatre.

The show includes a performance scheduled for Feb. 9 as a part of Thursday’s Arts-After-Work series, with admission for the night set at a $1 minimum donation.


Performance dates

Feb. 2 – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Feb. 3 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Feb. 4 – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Feb. 5 – 2 p.m.  to 4 p.m.

Feb. 9 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Feb. 10 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Feb. 11 – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Feb. 12 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


How To Get Tickets

PRICE $14 for general admission, $8 for students. Order online at or call (248) 370-2030.


SPECIALS Thursday Feb. 9 performance will be a part of the Arts-After-Work series. Admission is set at a $1 minimum donation.


LEARN MORE Find out more about the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at


Contact Life Editor Clare La Torre via e-mail at [email protected]