September 27, 28,  October 3, 4, 5, at 7:30 p.m. 

September 29, October 5 and 6, at 2 p.m.


After a season of war last year that brought Richard III to our festival stage, the festival lightens things back up for our celebrations. In fact, for our mainstage this season, what could be more appropriate than to follow the wars of Richard with the ever popular Much Ado About Nothing. For in Much Ado, the war is over, the soldiers are coming back, and everyone is in a festive mood. 
The battles that follow are of wit rather than sword as the reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick take aim with words and “never meet but there's a skirmish of wit between them.” Thank heavens “the world must be peopled” or Beatrice may never protest she loves Benedick, and he may never decide to “be horribly in love with her.” But as “some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps” the course of true love does not run smooth even for the willing lovers, Hero and Claudio. Much Ado About Nothing abounds in misunderstandings and in purposeful deceits and snares that both compound and confound the love stories.

Guest Equity Actor Chris Seiler


Full of lovers and villains and bumbling heroes, Much Ado About Nothing will give everybody something to cheer about. Our production takes place just as World War I is ending, and soldiers returning home from the reality of war are caught up in the “merry war” of wits between the sexes. The skirmishes in this battle may be more playful, but they may also be more dangerous than anyone expects. Help celebrate the 20th season of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival. Let’s make much ado about Much Ado.


The Mainstage festival production always features visiting professional guest artists, regional artists, and Grand Valley students, but this year we are also spotlighting our festival alumni by including several in our productions. Actor’s Equity Union actor 

Gary E. Mitchell in Hamlet

Katherine Mayberry

Christopher Seiler makes his first appearance on our festival stage playing the malopropial Dogberry. Guest Director and alumna Katherine Mayberry who played Hero in the first festival production of Much Ado About Nothing directs this production. Other guest alumna artists include lighting designer Chris Teller, musical director Scott Lange, choreographer Christian Vigrass, and property mistress Julie Kehr. Additionally, local actor Gary Mitchell will play the role of Leonato. While not an alum, Mitchell appeared previously for the Shakespeare Festival as Polonius in Hamlet.


Recommended for ages 8 and up. No children under school age admitted. 

 Additional Much Ado About Nothing Festival Events

Pre-show Discussion

Features  Production Dramaturg and Grand Valley English Professor Dr. Jo Miller (September 28) and  Grand Valley English Professor Dr. Ben Lockerd (October 4)

September 28 and October 6....................................... 6:45 p.m.
Van Solkema Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus

Opening Night Reception

There will be a free, public reception following the opening night performance of Much Ado About Nothing in the Pere Marquette room of Kirkof Center. The reception will include a cash bar and is free and open to the public with presentation of ticket from the opening night performance.

Secondary School Matinees

September 30, October 1 and, 3............................................... 10 a.m.
Student matinee performances are for area secondary schools who preregister to attend the performances. For registration information or questions, visit our Schools page.


Page last modified September 19, 2013