At the beginning of October, ISKL’s High School (HS) Drama Department put on a spectacular, physically distanced production of an original Shakespeare adaptation, Much Ado About Everything!
Adapted by HS Drama and IB Theatre Teacher/Theatre Manager Tina Casey, the play takes Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, adding modern elements to timeless themes that are still prevalent today, such as feminism and gender roles in society.
“Much Ado About Nothing is Shakespeare’s play about the craziness of people who think they love each other or who aren’t sure what love is about for them. It also includes hilarious mix-ups and happenstances to further entertain the audience,” said Tina.
“In Much Ado About Nothing, there’s plenty about how we treat gender expectations – what women are supposed to be like and what men are supposed to be like. Much Ado About Everything is an adaptation of that and includes having a modern cast, studying Shakespeare’s play in school.” Tina continued, “and as they look at it, they start to realize how much their lives today still mirror those issues and themes that Shakespeare has in the original production. As they open their texts in the modern cast, the play comes up behind them on the stage.”
The Shakespearean cast, led by Ann G. (’21) and Lewis M. (’23), stunned the crowd with their incredible performances. Ann’s portrayal of Beatrice and the feminist message she sends roused great applause from the audience, whereas Lewis’ confident and comic performance brought about many laughs.
The modern cast, led by Milou B. (’23) and Jaden P. (’24), conveyed the play’s critical themes in the context of today’s society. Many laughs from our student audience were brought about by the references to today’s pop culture and slang while still sending the feminist message of the play successfully to the audience.
The play was a great pleasure to watch, especially when restrictions caused by COVID-19 made the chances of live theater happening again quite slim. However, with social distancing SOPs strictly enforced, HS students could bring the community together through the Arts once again.
The cast put on three performances in the first week of October and special day-time performances for the Grade 9 and 10 students. As Grade 9 students will study Much Ado About Nothing later on in the school year, and this year’s Grade 10 students had just studied the play last year, it was a unique opportunity not to miss the play.
As producer Katie Milton has put it, “it takes a village” with many ISKL community members involved in helping the show go on. A big thank you to ISKL’s Theater department and alumni for helping out behind the scenes! And of course, an immense bravo to the stellar cast and director/writer Tina Casey for putting on a show when it seemed almost impossible!
Congratulations, and thank you for helping the Arts shine at ISKL in such difficult times!
To read more about Much Ado About Everything and the preparation made for the play, take a look at our earlier article here.