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Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

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The community will experience the Bard like never before with this 45-minute, innovative adaptation of the classic tale.

Asolo Rep presents an FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training Production of BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. The community will experience the Bard like never before with this 45-minute, innovative adaptation of the classic tale.

FREE community performances of this on tour production are scheduled at outdoor locations throughout the community in October and November of 2021, including Conservation Foundation at Bay Preserve; Manatee County Parks & Natural Resources' G.T. Bray Park and The Nest at Robinson Preserve; the Hermitage Artist Retreat; select Sarasota County Libraries and more. Most performances will include a pre-show art activity and a post-show talkback with the company. Performance dates, locations and details are available here.

"The pandemic has been a difficult time for many, and we know how essential theatre and the arts can be for a community, providing healing, inspiration, and a sense of togetherness and camaraderie," said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. "For our touring production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, we've built a robust schedule of dates and locations to truly make this important art form accessible to all. I'm immensely proud of our team, which has worked tirelessly within strict safety protocols to deliver a dynamic theatre experience in a safe, outdoor setting that everyone in the community can enjoy."

Adapted and directed by Gaby Rodriguez, this uproarious, witty and charming story is designed to connect communities through Shakespeare. While their soldiers have been away at war, residents in the community of Messina have learned to lean on each other for support. The intrepid (and self-appointed) Neighborhood Watch is made up of young scouts, led by troupe leader Dogberry - and scout surveillance is at high alert. As the neighborhood's war heroes Benedick, Claudio and Don Pedro return home, they have to renegotiate their place on the block. While young Hero and Claudio immediately fall in love, quick-witted Benedick and Beatrice need a matchmaker's push, but their love and return to the community of Messina are jeopardized by dastardly Don John's villainous machinations.

"I'm always drawn to connecting stories to our specific communities, and MUCH ADO is a great play to do this with," said Rodriguez. "It is a play about a community grappling with loss, consent, building of trust and the unsung heroes saving the day. Re-reading it after a year of COVID has made me realize that much like Messina in the play, our society right now is also learning to renegotiate consent and relationships."

Third-year FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training students make up the acting company for the touring production. The FSU/Asolo Conservatory is a three-year Master of Fine Arts graduate degree program that has consistently been named one of the top 10 actor training programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report. During the third year of their training, following the completion of the tour, Conservatory students join Asolo Rep's professional company of actors and perform in its mainstage season.

The BardWired program is an introduction to Shakespeare's work that is designed to break free of stigmas, using imaginative theatrical techniques to help Shakespearean language and stories connect with all generations of literature lovers. Care is taken to make the production, interactive resources, and learning activities exciting, accessible, and responsive for students, educators, and the community. This award-winning program has made professional, live, theatrical experiences accessible to more than 15,000 students and community members each year since 2008.

"My hope is that our production encourages the audience to question, challenge and push Shakespeare to evolve with our knowledge of today. And what a better way to do that than by experiencing the show through the eyes of young people," Rodriguez said. "I want the audience to take away from this production the value of young people and how we should all come together to push our community to evolve."

Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Ptah Garvin, Paige Klopfenstein, and Merri Rashoyan

Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Ptah Garvin, Paige Klopfenstein, Charlotte Foster, and Merri Rashoyan

Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Paige Klopfenstein, Charlotte Foster, and Emily Bohn

Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Merri Rashoyan and Ptah Garvin

Photos: Asolo Rep Presents BARDWIRED: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
The Cast of Much Ado About Nothing


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