Abbott’s Mill and The Second Street Players will present a special 2-day outdoor performance of Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare on May 20 and 21 at 3pm at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in Milford, DE.
It was Abbott’s Mill staff that contacted Second Street Players about putting on an outdoor performance. “I accepted it for the challenge of doing an outdoor production. To showcase the natural scenery of Abbott’s Mill was defiantly a must,” said Director Michael Forrest. “You cannot construct a better set than the one Mother Nature can produce.”
Much Ado About Nothing is a story of romance and deception intertwine between two couples in one of Shakespeare’s best known comedies. The Princess of Aragon, Dona Petra, and her followers visit the estate of the Governess, Leonada, after a small war against her half-brother, Don John, who has reluctantly joined her. It’s love at first sight when a young soldier, Claudio, falls in love with Leonada’s daughter, Hero. In time they pledge their love for one another and decide to marry. Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice resume the war of witty insults that they have carried on with each other in the past. Seeing this the Princess, Leonada, Claudio, and Hero decide to play a game and get Benedick and Beatrice to stop arguing and fall in love with each other.
Local actor Monica Morrow plays the role of Beatrice and has enjoyed transforming into the literary legend. “She has a great sense of humor and she doesn’t conform to typical female norms of the time. She is not afraid to say what she thinks, and she questions gender and class expectations frequently,” said Morrow. “However, my favorite thing about Beatrice is how she grows in her relationship with Benedict; at a point in the play she makes a decision to forgive and trust him, while still refusing to compromise her values.”
As the pair of lovers begin to express their true feelings for each other, Don John decides he wants to disrupt everyone’s happiness and with help from his companions try to disgrace Leonada’s family and dishonor Dona Petra and Count Claudio. Audience members will have the opportunity to see if Don John’s plans are successful at Abbott’s Mill outdoor pavilion.
“I hope that [the audience] enjoys a pleasant experience of having a late lunch picnic while being entertained by a wonderful cast,” said Forrest. “In my opinion, I think Shakespeare should be performed outdoors. It just feels like that is where it belongs and I hope the audience feels the same way.”
Presented by Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in co-operation with Second Street Players, performances will be held on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21 at 3pm at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center in Milford, DE. This will be an outdoor production to show off the natural beauty of Abbott’s Mill and families are encouraged to bring a picnic and blanket and join Second Street Players for some Shakespeare at the Mill.
For more information individuals can visit www.delawarenaturesociety.org/AbbottsMillNatureCenter or call them at (302)422-0847.