Much Ado About Shakepeare at Wayne College


Professional troupe returns to perform for 16th year

The American Shakespeare Center brings its 2014/15 Method in Madness Tour to The University of Akron Wayne College performing Much Ado About Nothing Fri., Nov. 7 and Hamlet Sat., Nov. 8. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. in The J.M. Smucker Co. Room of the Student Life Building. The College is located at 1901 Smucker Rd. in Orrville.

Based at the Blackfriar’s Playhouse in Staunton, Va., the world’s only re-creation of Shakepeare’s original indoor theater, the ASC performs under Shakespeare’s original staging conditions which include a simple stage and shared lighting conditions with the audience. Believing that Shakespeare’s stagecraft is as important as his wordcraft, the American Shakespeare Center has developed its own modern performance style based on how Shakespeare’s company performed plays at the original Globe and Blackfrairs Playhouses in Renaissance London—an approach that the Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout calls “first-rate theater.” This year Much Ado About Nothing is performed with a 1970s theme and Hamlet is a fusion of modern and Elizabethan elements.

The troupe will also perform a matinee of Hamlet for area high school English and drama students. According to Dr. Debra Johanyak, who teachers Shakespeare and His World at the College, Hamlet is a particularly good choice for high school students. “While Shakespeare’s stories may be old, the plots are timeless,” she says.  “In Hamlet, the main character is a university student, there are stepfamily conflicts that arise, and mental illness is an issue within the story, making Hamlet very relatable to the audience.”

Following the matinee, students participate in workshops on rhetoric, verse, and performance choices. The workshops are led by the actors and are designed to connect students to Common Core Standards including writing, history, social studies, reading, literature, language, speaking and listening.

“This is the sixteenth year the American Shakespeare Center has performed here at Wayne College,” says UA Wayne Interim Dean Dr. Dan Deckler. “We are proud to make professional theater accessible and available close to home. We encourage everyone to come out and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.”

Reserved seating is available at the cashier’s window in the Main Classroom Building 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or by phone at 330-684-8932. General admission is available at the door one hour prior to each performance or online at . Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information email

These performances are presented as part of the College’s Community Connections Special Events Series. To learn more visit