Derek Smith and Kathryn Meisle will return to the Sidney Harman Hall stage to reprise their roles as Benedick and Beatrice in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Free-For-All presentation of its 2011 Much Ado About Nothing.
The multiple Helen Hayes Awards winning production, in which Benedick and Beatrice lob verbal napalm at each other before falling in love, while another, more conventional couple have their romantic path disrupted by a villain’s false charges, will run for 12 performances during the last two weeks of August and on September 1.
Among the returning cast will be local favorites Ted van Griethuysen and Floyd King, reprising their roles as Dogberry and Verges, respectively.
STC Resident Assistant Director Jenny Lord will direct this production, set in Cuba and originally directed by Ethan McSweeny.
Advance reservations for Much Ado About Nothing are available now for Shakespeare Theatre Company subscribers and for members of the Friends of Free For All (membership to the Friends costs $200 and is tax deductible.)
The general public may receive free tickets (maximum 2 per person) by lining up outside Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, on the day of the show. STC will give out as many as 200 tickets in this fashion.
Tickets are also available electronically via a ticket lottery between 12.01 a.m. and 8 p.m. the day before each show (exceptions: lottery closes Thursdays at 8pm for Saturday matinees and Friday at 8pm for Sunday matinees).
More than 640,000 people have seen a Shakespeare Theatre Company Free For All since the program began in 1991. Artistic Director Michael Kahn said: “One of the major goals of the Free For All is to make Shakespeare accessible to diverse audiences—people who have never been to the theatre, people who are unable to pay for tickets or afford a babysitter, young people, students, people on fixed incomes. They all come to experience the magic of Shakespeare, to see how his words and ideas still resonate with us more than 400 years later.”
Much Ado will run on August 20-21, 25, 27-28 and September 1 at 7:30 p.m., August 22-24 and 29-31 at 8 p.m. and August 24-25, 31 and September 1 at 2 p.m. The 2 p.m. show on August 31 will be audio-described and sign-interpreted; you can reserve seating in the audio-described and sign-interpreted section by calling the box office at 202.547.1122 (voice) or 202.638.3863 (TTY).