Article By: Ahona Salsabil
It’s that time of year when budding ISM actors can channel their inner Leonardo DiCaprio and showcase their talents on stage. It has recently been announced that this year’s HS play will be Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Deemed one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, the original story follows a group of soldiers who visit the small Italian town of Messina, where chaos and romance ensue.
This year’s production, however, will add a twist to the original storyline: instead of Messina, Italy, the piece will be set in Messina, Iowa in the 1980s. The group of soldiers will be replaced by a rock band on tour, with the plot and relationships mirroring those in the original play. Furthermore, the piece and script will be devised entirely by the students themselves.
“I feel that unless I train the actors intensely, we will not do justice to Shakespeare’s text. I figured that because we couldn’t master his verse in seven weeks, we would do better with modern language. And the play would best be delivered if the actors devised it themselves because then they truly own it,” says Ms. Monsod, this year’s director.
“Our objective is to entertain them with a story that looks at two contrasting types of romance: one that is stereotypical and one that is more real,” she adds.
According to Sophomore Sofia C., a lot of surprises are in store: “It’ll just be a lot of fun, with music and dancing!” She will be playing the female lead, Beatrice, who is known for her quick wit, sharp tongue and rejection of all things romance. “I am a little nervous but I’m really excited to show people what I can do,” Sofia shares.
Junior Finnian M., will be playing the male lead Benedick. He describes his character as “goofy, and a little bit egotistic. He hates losing arguments which explains why he and Beatrice are always at each other’s throats.”
According to him, “The play will be really hilarious and very different from the typical plays or musicals we’ve seen at ISM so far. There’s going to be a band playing live 80’s rock music.”
Mr. Nazareno, the high school band teacher who you might recognise as the conductor of our jazz band, will work with the band to perfect the musical numbers.
“The production is actually not a musical because the characters do not sing their lines. Instead, it’s a straight play that incorporates characters who are musicians,” Ms. Monsod clarifies.
Musical or not, the play in question is sure to present a story jam-packed with music, laughs and a little bit of scandal. Much Ado About Nothing will be performed mid-October so be sure to come and support the talented Bearcats who will, without a doubt, put on a great show.