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"Much Ado About Nothing" to Take Center Stage at Wheaton's Memorial Park

August 22, 2017

Every August since 2013, the Wheaton Park District and Wheaton College Arena Theater have worked together to bring the iconic works of William Shakespeare to life. For two nights, the Memorial Park band shell will undergo a transformation that will transport spectators to Messina, Italy where this year’s play, “Much Ado about Nothing,” is set.

The Wheaton Park District and Wheaton College’s “Much Ado about Nothing” will be performed Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 at Memorial Park (208 W. Union Ave). Seating opens at 6 p.m. and the performance starts at 7 p.m. Limited bench seating is available. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Onsite concessions will be available, with the proceeds benefiting the DuPage County Historical Museum. The event is free and open to the public. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date is scheduled for Sunday, August 27th.

“Much Ado about Nothing” combines a little of what everyone loves about Shakespearean plays – comedy, love, honor, and politics. The story’s light-hearted humor interspersed with heartfelt moments strikes the perfect balance between hilarity and gravity and is sure to enthrall event-goers.

This year, there will be a short puppet show of “Much Ado” before the play begins. Kids who love puppets and adults who want a short primer on the plot and characters will want to be on their blankets and benches when the curtain rises. This year’s production will once again include music by Maggie Ritchie and her band bring.

Since its start, Wheaton’s Shakespeare in the Park has brought together thousands of area residents for a professional-quality production. The performance brings Wheaton College alums-turned-professional actors from across the country and pairs them with current students to star in the two-day performance. The high caliber of acting, lighting, and sound blend for a unique, must-see show for the whole family.

“There’s something so wonderful about Shakespeare outdoors,” said Andy Mangin, a member of the Wheaton College Arena Theater and producer for the show. “As the night sky dims and the stage lights brighten, we hope to transport the audience a little. We hope to tell a story about love and reconciliation. And it’s funny and musical and crazy. This year it’s a little bit ’80s. I think it will be different than any ‘Much Ado’ anyone has seen. We really see this as such a treat to be able to do it and have audiences come and share this wonderful time with us.”

For more information, visit wheatonparkdistrict.com.