Director's Notes for Much Ado About Nothing

Resurrection! Sean Benson has found it in fourteen of Shakespeare’s plays. Sometimes the theme is spot on, as when Juliet is drugged so as to appear quite dead before coming back to a tragically short life, but in Shakespearian Resurrection: The Art of Almost Raising the Dead, Benson says Shakespeare “repeatedly evokes Christ’s resurrection from the dead when long-lost characters reunite.”

Spoiler alert! It’s also a central theme in Much Ado About Nothing.

Because this is a student production memorized in three weeks we needed to chop a lot out of the script, so we focused on the theme of resurrection, found not only in Hero’s storyline, but also in that of Beatrice and Benedick. Their interest in -- maybe even their ability to -- love has died, yet, with the help of friends, love springs to life.

For the third consecutive year we’ll be performing our play at  South Hills Church of the Nazarene en route to our performances in an Off-Broadway theatre (www.MasterWorksFestival.org/tour.html). Pastor Ken Culbertson hopes the play will prompt love in the church body, as well as among those married couples whose interest in and ability to love needs resurrection.

There is another beautiful picture of Christ in what is not in the script: Beatrice and Benedick need to know that they are loved by the other before they will dare to love. But Christ loved us while we were yet his enemies (Romans 5:10). He was willing to risk rejection by lavishly giving his All. Won’t you receive the Lord’s love for you at a deeper level, or maybe for the first time? Allow that yearning for the eternal, which C.S. Lewis called the “God-shaped hole” to be filled with Christ’s Love. Resurrection!

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