On Friday, November 19th, 2021, Sequoyah High School Theater held the opening night of its fall show, an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. The play, which was directed by Theater and Humanities teacher Arden Thomas, took place on the Gamble House back lawn and ran for four days, ending on Monday, November 22nd.
The aptly named play, which centers on the trials and tribulations of several love-lorn couples, is set in the seaside town of Messina, Italy, and featured a record number of cast members for a colorful production. While Shakespeare set it during his time period–the late 1500s–Thomas updated it to the 1950s “to be able to have fun, vibrant costume, and sound designs.” The show was a tale of silliness and romance as it followed the lives of the soldier Benedicta, her love interest Beatrice, her uncle Leonato, the Governor of Messina, as well as his daughter Hero and her love interest Claudio, along with many other saucy and hilarious side characters.
The experience has opened the eyes of many students and has gotten them to be interested in participating in Sequoyah plays in the future. James James ’25 says, “Putting on Much Ado with this group has been a really fun and exciting experience. Working with Arden and Elliot [Davis, the assistant director] to bring the show to fruition has been a true pleasure, and I hope to do many more plays in the future.” Sofie Wilson ’25 shares how she has “been fortunate enough to better get to know so many of the 9th, 10th, and 12th graders that I wouldn’t have really interacted with otherwise.”
After being at home for so long, Thomas had “wanted to find a joyful play that would help us celebrate being back together again and doing live theater.” Thomas explained that “we started doing a lot of research into fashion, clothing, patterns, as well as the jazz and swing scene of the time period.” She is also enthused that the cast has “blown me away with their wonderful acting and storytelling, their fearlessness, their willingness to try new things, and their spirit of camaraderie and collaboration.”
Congratulations to everyone who made this production possible!
Take a look at these wonderful photos from the production taken by Sequoyah School parent David Haskell: