“Much Ado About Nothing” Fights for Love

Benedicke and Beatrice smirk at each other’s arguments.

Haley Brase

A fiery war between accepting love and denying it will lead to a stubborn resolution for the civilians of Messina.

Story Theater Company presents Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26, 27 and 28 at Zeke’s in Ames.

Not following the lines of a typical love story, Beatrice, played by high school student Mattie Kupfer of Ames, and Benedicke, played by high school student Ben Sulzberger of Ames, only share words of comical hate to each other.

Beatrice’s Aunt, Leonata governor of Messina, and Benedicke’s companion, Don Pedro Prince of Arragon, think Beatrice and Benedicke should be together, but a plan must be struck in order to corral the young teenagers’ stubbornness.

Leonata is played by high school student Lena Menefee-Cook of Ames, and Don Pedro is played by high school student Sean Thompson of Ames.

The tension will reverberate between the two characters, but Beatrice’s sass and Benedicke’s cleverness may be the way they express their hidden feelings to each other.

Together, Leonata and Don Pedro try to compile a strategy, but Beatrice’s nose turns up at the sight of Benedicke, and Benedicke plans to be a bachelor for the rest of his life. The two as a couple could result in destruction or tranquility for Messina.

“Benedicke and Beatrice start apart; they’re older, much more mature and they spar verbally all the time, but then in the end they end up eating their meat too, grudgingly, which is a line from the play,” said director Kivan Kirk, senior in performing arts with an emphasis in acting and directing at Iowa State.

Unlike Beatrice, Hero, Leonata’s daughter, has a welcoming heart to love and sees it when she first meets Claudio, Don Pedro’s companion.

Hero is played by high school student Allyson Goodman of Ames, and Claudio is played by middle school student Josh Gartin of Ames.

“Hero and Claudio, who are the young couple, fall irrationally in love with each other at first sight, and then a couple minutes into the play, they’re torn apart,” said Kirk.

Leonata is torn between dealing with her feisty niece and helping her daughter figure out her future.

According to Menefee-Cook, Leonata is a male part in the Shakespeare version, but for this play they changed it to a female role.

Leonata expresses many motherly qualities toward both girls by wiping away their tears and scolding them when they need to be taught a valuable lesson.

Beatrice and Hero may choose to listen to Leonata, but their fates will be decided for them if they do not forfeit the war of love.

Much Ado About Nothing will perform at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26, 27 and 28 at Zeke’s in Ames. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults and $7 for children.