Director of Marketing and Strategic Advancement
Great Lakes Theater
March 14, 2013
CLEVELAND, OH - Great Lakes Theater (GLT), Cleveland’s Classic Company, continues the second half its 2012-13 season with William Shakespeare comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. The production will be performed in the company’s revolutionary and audience-friendly home at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, March 29 – April 14, 2013. Sharon Ott directs.
Great Lakes Theater’s production of Much Ado About Nothing is sponsored by PNC. GLT is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. In addition, the classic theater company’s 2012-13 season is presented with support from The Cleveland Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsors for GLT’s 51st season are Cleveland Scene, The FORM Group, The Plain Dealer, WCLV 104.9 FM, WCPN 90.3 FM ideastream and WKSU 89.7 FM.
Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is a sublime battle of wits and wills. Beatrice and Benedick would rather exchange scorching insults than sweet nothings. However, the pugnacious pair is forced to forge a partnership in order to defend house and honor, and salvage the true love of Hero and Claudio after deceptions destroy the lovers’ wedding day. Will the earnest endeavor to restore a young romance elicit an unexpected change of heart for the effort’s unlikely collaborators as well?
A leading figure in the American theater for over 30 years, director Sharon Ott will make her Great Lakes Theater debut with Much Ado About Nothing. Over the course of her decorated career, she served as Artistic Director for two major regional theaters - the Berkeley Repertory Theater (for 13 years) and the Seattle Repertory Theater (for 8 years) - winning many awards for her work as a director and producer, including three Bay Area Theater Awards (The Tooth Of Crime, Heartbreak House and You, Nero), several Hollywood Dramalogue awards (Ballad Of Yachiyo, The Lady From the Sea, Twelfth Night and others), the Elliot Norton Award (Boston, MA, for The Woman Warrior), the Paine Knickerbocker Lifetime Achievement Award (San Francisco, for Artistic Direction of Berkeley Rep) and an Obie Award (shared with members of Theatre X, Milwaukee, for A Fierce Longing, production design). During her last season as Artistic Director at Berkeley Rep, the company received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. She currently lives in Savannah, Georgia, where she is a professor and serves as the Artistic Director of the Performing Arts Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
“So many of my friends and colleagues cite Much Ado About Nothing as their favorite Shakespearean comedy. Why is that?” wondered Ott about Much Ado. “It doesn’t have the perfect poetic symmetry of A Midsummer Night’s Dream…the famous speeches of As You Like It, or the masterfully worked out subplot of Twelfth Night. But what it does have in spades is this wonderful central couple. These are two people we can relate to, and their mature and beautiful realization that they want each other, and enjoy each other, and actually need each other is one of the most fulfilling and moving of Shakespeare’s creations.”
Great Lakes Theater’s production of Much Ado About Nothing was born from an extraordinary amalgamation of exciting influences according to director Ott. “Our production is inspired by many things: the Tuscan countryside; various social and aesthetic movements in Europe post-World War I, including the rise of the ‘new woman;’ the spirit of the wild parties of the Jazz Age; and even the early silent movies from Keystone, particularly The Bangville Police.”
Great Lakes Theater’s award-winning home at the Hanna Theatre features a visionary“Great Room” inspired design that integrates the artist and audience experience into a single unified environment. Hanna patrons select from a variety of seating opportunities including traditional theater seats, club chairs, lounge/bar seats, banquette couches and private box seating. Arranged in an intimate 550-seat thrust configuration where the audience surrounds the stage, no seat is further than 12 rows from the performance.
Great Lakes Theater offers patrons a robust series of Experience Enhancement Programming that is organized by day of week. The series highlights the Hanna’s unique amenities and affords access to artists.
---“Salon Thursdays” feature an engaging pre-show discussion/presentation beginning one hour before curtain with a Great Lakes Theater artist. (Offered: Apr. 4, 11)
---“Happy Hour Fridays” afford audience members the opportunity to gather, socialize and enjoy appetizers or beverages for sale in the Hanna’s bar and lounge beginning ninety minutes before the performance. (Offered: Mar. 29 & Apr. 5, 12)
---“Nightcap Night Saturdays” are designed to encourage audience members to stay after the evening performance and mingle with the GLT artistic company in the Hanna’s lounge. The Hanna’s bar is open ninety minutes after Nightcap Night Saturday performances.” (Offered: Apr. 6, 13)
---“Ice Cream Social Sundays” offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy a London theatre tradition brought state-side. Audience members are invited to purchase a cool, personal ice cream treat before the show or at intermission. Ice cream will be offered at every performance in Much Ado About Nothing’s run, but on “Ice Cream Social Sundays,” the treat is half price. (Offered: Apr. 7, 14)
---“Director’s Night” offer audiences the opportunity to take part in a lively pre-show discussion with GLT’s Producing Artistic Director, Charles Fee before the Friday preview performance. (Offered: Mar. 29)
---“Playnotes Pre-Show Discussions” inform patrons with illuminating introductions to the content and history of each play in GLT’s season presented by a guest scholar before Saturday matinee performances. (Offered: Apr. 6, 13)
Great Lakes Theater will continue to afford patrons extraordinary access to its artists and production process at every Hanna Theatre performance of Much Ado About Nothing. The Hanna always opens its doors ninety minutes before each performance allowing patrons to observe the complete pre-show preparation process of GLT’s actors and technical staff. Elements traditionally hidden from audiences such as stage combat rehearsals, dance calls, prop/scenic pre-sets, technical cue rehearsals and actor warm-ups will be conducted in full view of patrons, offering GLT audiences an unprecedented glimpse into the theatrical process.
Great Lakes Theater will also renew its New Deal pricing initiative this spring - designed to increase accessibility for audiences. As part of the program, adult tickets begin at $15 and student tickets for any seat at any performance are $13 - making GLT one of the most affordable entertainment options in the region.
The Opening Night (also Press Night) performance of Much Ado About Nothingis scheduled for Saturday, March 30th. A preview performance is scheduled for the preceding Friday night evening (March 29th). Curtain times for all evening performances will remain at 7:30 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. curtain time for Saturday matinees and a 3:00 p.m. curtain time for Sunday matinees. A sign-interpreted and audio-described matinee performance will be offered on Sunday, April 7th.
Single performance tickets range in price from $15-$70 (Student tickets are $13) and are available by calling (216) 241-6000, by ordering online or by visiting the PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts of up to 40% by calling (216) 241-5490 x302.
Great Lakes Theater, the first resident company of PlayhouseSquare, has brought the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience since 1962. GLT programming positively impacts 100,000 adults and students annually.
Much Ado About Nothing