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much ado about nothing

by William Shakespeare


The Bard’s famous comedic romp known for the brilliant war of words between the feisty Beatrice and the staunch bachelor Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing plays out amidst the brittle high spirits of a post-war house party. When Don Pedro Prince of Aragon visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, love antics ensue. War hero Claudio falls in love with Leonato’s daughter, Hero and their marriage is agreed upon. While marriage preparations ensue, Don Pedro schemes up a plan to make old flames and longtime bantering partners Benedick and Beatrice fall in love. Despite Beatrice’s ire against Benedick and his claims to being a confirmed bachelor, when each overhears that the other is in love with him/her, he/she begins to wonder whether love between them is possible. Meanwhile Don John, the prince's misanthropic bastard brother, contrives a more malicious plot to make Claudio believe his betrothed is unfaithful. The wedding day arrives, and Claudio denounces Hero at the altar. When Hero faints, the men abandon the wedding party, and she takes the advice of the Friar – who is convinced of her innocence – to pretend to be dead until the truth can be revealed. The foolish constable Dogberry and his watchmen overhear Borachio boasting of his exploit and the plot is exposed. Claudio promises to make amends to Leonato: he is required to marry a cousin of Hero's in her place. When unmasked, she is revealed as Hero. Claudio and Hero plan to marry, and Benedick and Beatrice do the same. This charming exploration of love and marriage, friendship and honor, features some of Shakespeare’s wittiest and most poignant dialogue.


A social and cultural argument written before its time, Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy is a sharp indictment of a repressive society that keeps its children in ignorance about puberty, sex, and sexuality. The plot follows three young people in a provincial German village in the 1890s: Wendla Bergmann, a young woman curious about where babies come from and why; Melchior Gabor, a rebellious intellectual with abundant knowledge but little emotional maturity; and Moritz Stiefel, a struggling student anxious to understand his developing body as he searches for success in school. As these three young people seek awareness, their worlds crumble around them through repression by the adults in their lives. A tragedy of rape, abuse, and suicide, Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening: A Children’s Tragedy continues to amaze and impact audiences over a century after its first performance.

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