URI Theatre stages Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, opens April 18

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KINGSTON, RI – April 9, 2013 – The University of Rhode Island Department of Theatre will present Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. This production will feature several stellar graduating seniors who have dazzled audiences for most of their years in Kingston.

The show will be staged April 18-20 and April 25-27, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. and April 21 and 28 at 3 p.m. in the Robert E. Will Theatre in the URI Fine Arts Center on the Kingston Campus. General admission for the performance is $20, $15 for seniors, URI faculty/staff, and $12 for students. Tickets can be purchased by calling 401.874.5843 beginning April 1 or online at www.uri.edu/theatre.

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, is a titillating comedy in which two of his best characters, the intelligent, witty Beatrice matches wits with the dull, cynical Benedick.

In fact, two of URI’s top performers, Olivia Khoshatefeh of Mansfield, Mass., and Andrew Burnap of South Kingstown will bring the verbal sparring of the Bard’s top characters to stage before they leave for their graduate studies at Brown and Yale universites respectively.

In Much Ado, their merry war engages us throughout a love story involving Beatrice’s cousin Hero, Alex Maynard of Providence, and Benedick’s friend Claudio, Benjamin Miller of Barrington, that goes awry when Hero is falsely accused of betrayal. It takes the comic Constable Dogberry played by Americo Lanni and his hilarious troops to uncover the truth.

And it takes true love for Benedick to believe in Beatrice’s loyalty to Hero and to commit himself to her course of action. Much Ado may seem to be about nothing, but it is essentially about the attractions of a woman’s mind and character on a perennial bachelor. It is a lighthearted romp rooted in the depth of the battle of the sexes.

The show is under the direction of URI Associate Theater Professor Bryna Wortman whose recent directorial credits include A View From the Bridge, The Sea Gull, Spinning into Butter, Unbound, and Small Tragedy. Additional members of the design team include costumes by Marilyn Salvatore, Guest Artist, set design by URI Alum, Cheryl deWardener, lighting design by Kathy Giebler, Guest Artist, choreography by URI Alum Carol Pegg.

The cast members, characters and hometowns are listed below:

Actor, Character, Hometown

Rick Bagley, Leonato’s Brother, Newport

Julia Bartoletti, Sexton, Charlton, Mass.

Andrew Burnap, Benedick, S. Kingstown

Christine Dickinson, Messenger, Musician, Balthasar understudy, Woonsocket

Danielle Dube, Ursula, Providence

Amaris Gagnon, Watchman #2, Springfield, Mass.

Brandon Gailliard, First Watchman, W Warwick

Diego Guevara, Boy, Claudio undersudy, E Greenwich

Lauren Hanson, Seacole, E Greenwich

Benjamin Hill, Leonato, Hartford, Conn.

Patrick Keeffe, Barrachio, Don Pedro understudy, N Kingstown

Oliva Khoshatefeh, Beatrice, Mansfield, Mass.

Americo Lanni, Constable Dogberry, Johnston

Sarah Leach, Margaret, Smithfield

Alex Maynard, Hero, Providence

Rachel Marshall, Musician, 1st Watchmen understudy, Littleton, Mass.

T.S. McCormick, Verges/Friar, Providence

Benjamin Miller, Claudio, Barrington

Justin Morrison, Second Watchman, Musician, Barrachio understudy, North Kingstown

Katherine Riley, Balthasar, Hero understudy, Hillsdale, NJ

Philip L. Ryng, Conrade, North Kingstown

Lauren Ashley Thiele, Sexton, Messenger understudy, Muskegan, Mich.

Mark Tiberiis, II, Don Pedro, Pawtucket

Pictured in single image above:

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at URI, opens April 18: Andrew Burnap of South Kingstown as Benedick and Olivia Khoshatefeh of Mansfield, Mass., as Beatrice, stand behind best friends Ben Miller of Barrington as Claudio and Alex Maynard of Providence as Hero in URI’s grand spring production. April 18-20 and April 25-27, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. and Apr 21 and 28 at 3 p.m. in the Robert E. Will Theatre in the URI Fine Arts Center, Kingston Campus. (URI Theatre photos by William Hicks.)