Conservatory Theatre Company’s Fresh Take on Much Ado About Nothing Melds the Great Generation of World War II with Classic Shakespearean Fare Friday, November 15, 2019
“The Conservatory Theatre company has been hard at work collaborating with our exceptional faculty, professional Playhouse staff and nationally-recognized guest artists to bring our stages to life.”
Point Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Company features Shakespeare’s classic with a twist, Much Ado About Nothing, Nov. 8-17 in the PNC Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.
“The Conservatory Theatre company has been hard at work collaborating with our exceptional faculty, professional Playhouse staff and nationally-recognized guest artists to bring our stages to life,” said Steven Breese, artistic director, Pittsburgh Playhouse. “We are pleased to welcome home alumnus Steven Wilson, as the director of Shakespeare’s reimagined classic, Much Ado About Nothing, and continuing our commitment to our students to deliver the highest quality training and to the Pittsburgh region some of the finest entertainment.”
Matchmaking, deception and betrayal are the makings of William Shakespeare’s highly-acclaimed Much Ado About Nothing, where the great generation of World War II meets classic Shakespearean characters and storytelling. The show follows several love triangles that struggle to overcome deception, mishaps and light-hearted trickery. After many ups and downs for the play’s witty and somewhat mischievous characters, in the end, love wins.
Known as one of Shakespeare’s most endearing comedic works, audiences are sure to experience laughs and a couple jaw-drops through the plot twists that take place in this creative adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.
This is truly a homecoming for director, Steven Wilson, who got his start with the Playhouse at age 11 learning the skills of his craft as an actor and then graduating from Point Park University in 1996. He spent 20 years working as a professional in Chicago, and he earned his M.F.A. in Directing from The University of Texas at Austin. Wilson recently moved back to Pittsburgh and is serving as a part-time instructor at Point Park. He also works across the country as a freelance director.
Wilson describes his version of the classic as “retaining the spirit of Shakespeare’s original, romantic comedy while creating a fresh adaptation that is leaner and more accessible to a modern audience that speaks to patrons young and old.”
“The ensemble is essential to the success of the overall show,” says Wilson, who includes 26 students in the production. His directorial-style is truly collaborative combining professional scenic and lighting designers with students overseeing movement, music, dance, costumes, and sound.
The design team includes scenic design by Gianni Downs; costume design by Dianela Gil (student) and Cathleen Crocker-Perry (mentor); lighting design by Cat Wilson; and sound design by Braden Harrington (student) and Zach Brown (mentor).
“Specializing in creating and nurturing collaborative, ensemble theatre with an emphasis on community building,” Wilson says his “strengths as a director lie in the development of new work and in creating inclusive collaborations with as many different types of people that can be assembled both onstage and off.”