‘Much Ado’ to open at Parkrose High

Here’s why – even if you think you dislike the works of Shakespeare – you need to make plans to see this funny, witty, and romantic play …

You say you don’t remember a “Conga Line” in Shakespeare’s plays?  Come and see why these Parkrose High student actors are up and dancing, in their production of Much Ado About Nothing, opening November 7.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Parkrose High School student actors have been getting ready for opening night, when they’ll present what many consider to be the best comedy by William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, on two weekends in November.

Theater teacher Tom Cavanaugh, following in the footsteps of departed instructor Ms. Zena, talked about the show.

Parkrose High School Theater Department instructor Tom Cavanaugh cues actors to their marks, as they rehearse Much Ado About Nothing.

“The students chose the show last spring,” Cavanaugh mentioned to East Portland News. “I believe the officers of Parkrose High School Thespian Troupe #1783 voted to do this play.”

It’s a good choice of material, Cavanaugh reflected. “I personally really enjoy Shakespeare. And, I think what we’ve done with it is really fun, and will be something to which audiences can easily connect. It’s set in the present day; and we are, hopefully, making Shakespeare more relevant for people who might not think they enjoy works of The Bard.”

As they rehearse for the upcoming show, Llake Anderson (playing Don Pedro) and Jason Gutierrez (Leonato) check to see what’s going on with Gabriel Davis (Benedick) and Sage Krening (Claudio).

About the story …
Much Ado About Nothing is about two pairs of lovers – one couple is madly in love with one another, and the other wittily proclaims a mutual disdain of love.

The story’s villain uses evil trickery to derail the lovers as they head toward marriage. Will his wicked schemes work? Come and see for yourself!

While the student actors speak Shakespeare’s words, the setting and costumes update the play, making it relevant, Cavanaugh said.

“The best part about putting on the show for me,” added Cavanaugh, “is all of the input from the student actors. Their ideas really give life to this production.”

Can Gabriel Davis (playing Benedick), and his sweetie Bailey Golar (Beatrice), stop their witty verbal sparring long enough to find true, lasting love?

Much Ado About Nothing opens on November 7
Enjoy the Parkrose High student actors in one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. It’s loaded with plenty of laughs, along with themes revealing the meaning of honor, shame, and court politics.

Curtain is at 7:00 p.m. on opening night; the show also starts at the same time on November 8 and 9, and again on November 14, 15 and 16.

Tickets are available at the door: $8/adults; $5 students and seniors. The play is presented in the Parkrose High School Theater, 12003 NE Shaver Street, just west of NE 122nd Avenue.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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