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Much Ado About Nothing

August 12 - September 16

Lowell Davies Festival Theatre

Photo Credits

(center) Michael Hayden and Sara Topman with the cast of Much Ado About Nothing. Photo by Jim Cox.

Much Ado About Nothing


By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kathleen Marshall

“A swoon-worthy staging under Broadway ace Kathleen Marshall’s direction.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“A perfect summertime romantic comedy you don’t want to miss!” —BroadwayWorld

Everyone can see that confirmed bachelor Benedick and headstrong Beatrice are meant for each other—except for Benedick and Beatrice themselves! While their friends try to trick the bickering pair into admitting they’re in love, their young sidekicks Hero and Claudio start a romance of their own. But will false accusations, broken promises, and even a nutty and bumbling police force prevent a happy ending? Three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (the Globe’s Love’s Labor’s Lost) makes her triumphant return as director to our Festival Theatre stage with one of the greatest romantic comedies ever, in a production full of colorful characters, passionate poetry, and Shakespeare’s wittiest wordplay.

Video: Barry Edelstein talks about Much Ado About Nothing

Production Sponsors
Joan and Irwin Jacobs
Darlene Marcos Shiley
June Yoder

Artist Sponsor for Director Kathleen Marshall
Ann Davies

This production is supported in part by the Jean and Gary Shekhter Fund for Classic Theatre.

Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, which includes one 15-minute intermission.

Groups of 10 or more may purchase discounted tickets, and tickets may also be purchased as part of a money-saving season package.

Learn more about group discounts
Learn more about season package

Cast and Creative



William Shakespeare (Playwright), 1564–1616, was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. During his career he wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and other verses. His body of plays consists of the tragedies Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, Titus Andronicus, and Troilus and Cressida; the comedies All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Two Noble Kinsmen; the romances Cymbeline, Pericles, The Tempest, and The Winter’s Tale; and the histories Henry IV Parts I and II, Henry V, Henry VI Parts I, II, and III, Henry VIII, King John, Richard II, and Richard III. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Kathleen Marshall (Director) made her Globe directing debut in 2016 with the acclaimed Love’s Labor’s Lost. Her Broadway credits include In Transit; Living on Love; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Anything Goes; The Pajama Game; Wonderful Town; Grease; Little Shop of Horrors; Follies; Seussical; Kiss Me, Kate; 1776;and Swinging on a Star. Her Off Broadway and regional credits include City Center Encores! (Artistic Director for four seasons), New York Shakespeare Festival, Second Stage Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Boston Pops, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, and The Muny. Ms. Marshall’s film and television work includes My Week with Marilyn (choreographer), “Once Upon a Mattress”, “The Music Man” (Emmy Award nomination), and “2 Broke Girls.” She has received three Tony Awards (out of nine nominations), three Drama Desk Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Astaire Award, the George Abbott Award, the Smith College Medal (her alma mater), and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for the Arts, and she has been named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. She is an Associate Artist of Roundabout Theatre Company and a member of the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

John Lee Beatty (Scenic Design) has designed the Globe productions of King Richard II, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Cornelia, Dancing in the Dark, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,and Redwood Curtain. His 110 Broadway credits include Sweat, Disgraced, The Nance, After Midnight, Good People, Venus in Fur, Other Desert Cities, Times Stands Still, A View From the Bridge, The Royal Family, The Color Purple, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rabbit Hole, Doubt, Chicago, Proof, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, A Delicate Balance, The Heiress, The Sisters Rosensweig, The Most Happy Fella, Burn This, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Talley’s Folly, Fifth of July,and Crimes of the Heart. His Off Broadway credits include The Whipping Man, Sylvia, The Substance of Fire, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, A Life in the Theatre, 38 seasons at Manhattan Theatre Club and Circle Repertory Company, 21 seasons at City Center Encores!, film, opera, television, and circus. Mr. Beatty is the recipient of Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and he is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of Brown University and Yale School of Drama.

Michael Krass (Costume Design) returns to the Globe, having previously designed Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Mask of Moriarity, Overtime, Pilgrims, Full Gallop, Interior Decoration, Breaking Up, and The School for Husbands. His work on Broadway includes The Cherry Orchard; Heisenberg; Noises Off (2016 Tony Award nomination); Living on Love directed by Kathleen Marshall; Machinal (2014 Tony nomination); The Lyons; The Constant Wife (2006 Tony nomination); A View from the Bridge; Twelve Angry Men; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown;and many more. His Off Broadway and regional work includes world premieres by Simon Stephens, Edward Albee, Will Eno, John Guare, Kenneth Lonergan, Nicky Silver, The Debate Society, Christopher Durang, and Theresa Rebeck. He is Resident Designer of Ballet Tech, and he has designed opera for the Mariinsky Theatre and film for Campbell Scott in his Hamlet. Mr. Krasstaught at New York University and now teaches at Brown University in their graduate program. His upcoming work includes Hadestown at the National Theatre in London.

Stephen Strawbridge (Lighting Design) previously designed The Old Globe’s Hamlet, King Richard II, Double Indemnity, Othello, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He has designed over 200 productions on and Off Broadway and at most major regional theatre and opera companies across the U.S. Internationally his work has been seen in Bergen, Copenhagen, The Hague, Hong Kong, Linz, Lisbon, Munich, Naples, Sao Paulo, Stratford-upon-Avon (Royal Shakespeare Company), Stockholm, Vienna, and Wroclaw. His recent credits include Flyin’ West (Westport Country Playhouse), The White Card (American Repertory Theater), Native Son (Yale Repertory Theatre), Turn Me Loose with Joe Morton (Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Westside Theatre), and Athol Fugard’s “Master Harold”...and the Boys (Signature Theatre Company; Drama Desk Award nomination). His credits for dance include Pilobolus, Alison Chase/Performance, and others. Mr. Strawbridge has received American Theatre Wing, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Connecticut Critics Circle, Dallas–Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum, Drama Desk, Helen Hayes, Henry Hewes Design, and Lucille Lortel Awards and nominations. He is Co-Chair of the Design Department at Yale School of Drama and a Resident Lighting Designer at Yale Repertory Theatre.

Sten Severson (Sound Design) is pleased to be returning to The Old Globe, where he has designed Hamlet, King Richard II, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Othello. He was also the U.S. Associate Sound Designerfor Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. His selected credits include the Broadway productions of Hair, The Motherf***er with the Hat, and The Merchant of Venice, and the Off Broadway productions of Venice, No Place to Go, The Total Bent, and The Controversy of Valladolid, as well as King Lear, the musical Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Hair, and Hamlet for Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater. His regional credits include Family Album (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Fallaci (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Akeelah and the Bee (Children’s Theatre Company, Arena Stage), and The Abominables, Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Children’s Theatre Company). Mr. Severson is a partner in Acme Sound Partners, collectively responsible for over 30 Broadway shows since 2000. He has taught at New York University and Yale School of Drama, and he currently serves as Sound Director at Children’s Theatre Company.

Stephen Flaherty (Composer, “Sigh No More”) last worked with The Old Globe on the world premiere of In Your Arms. He is currently represented on Broadway by Anastasia and Once on This Island (2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical). His additional Broadway credits include Ragtime, Rocky, Seussical, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life (also at the Globe), and Neil Simon’s Proposals (incidental music). He has also written four musicals at Lincoln Center Theater: The Glorious Ones, Dessa Rose, A Man of No Importance, and My Favorite Year. His other theatre credits include Little Dancer (The Kennedy Center), Lucky Stiff, and Loving Repeating. For his work in the theatre he has received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Joseph Jefferson, and Olivier Awards and has been nominated for the Grammy Award three times. In 2015 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. His film work includes Anastasia (two Academy Award and two Golden Globe Award nominations), After the Storm, and Lucky Stiff. Mr. Flaherty is also well known for his 34-year collaboration with lyricist/librettist Lynn Ahrens, but he is happy to be collaborating with William Shakespeare tonight. AhrensAndFlaherty.com.

Ursula Meyer (Voice and Text Coach) has worked on the Globe productions of The Mystery of Irma Vep, BoeingBoeing, Quartet, Engaging Shaw, Othello, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, Loves Labors Lost, and King Richard II. She has studied voice with Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenburg, Andrew Wade, and Arthur Lessac, and she is a designated Linklater teacher. She graduated with distinction from the Voice Studies Program at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama under David Carey. Her regional credits include Guthrie Theater, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, and the Idaho, Santa Cruz, and Utah Shakespeare Festivals, as well as 15 seasons with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and four years at Yale Repertory Theatre, where she also taught. Ms. Meyer holds an M.F.A. from University of Washington and has been teaching at UC San Diego since 1995. She is on the board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and is a recipient of UC San Diego’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.

Tara Rubin Casting/Laura Schutzel, CSA (Casting) has cast the Globe’s The Tempest, Guys and Dolls, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dog and Pony, A Room with a View, and others. Their select Broadway credits include King Kong (upcoming), The Band’s Visit, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Prince of Broadway, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale The Musical, Cats, Falsettos, Disaster!, School of Rock, Gigi, Bullets Over Broadway, Aladdin, Les Misérables, The Heiress, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, and The Phantom of the Opera. Their Off Broadway credits include The Band’s Visit, Here Lies Love,and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. They have also cast regionally for Yale Repertory Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager) previously worked on the Globe productions of Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night (Globe for All); Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!;Ken Ludwig’s Robin Hood!; The Imaginary Invalid; Red Velvet; Picasso at the Lapin Agile; Love’s Labor’s Lost; tokyo fish story; The Metromaniacs; In Your Arms; Twelfth Night; Buyer & Cellar; Bright Star; Othello; Water by the Spoonful; The Winter’s Tale; A Doll’s House; Pygmalion; A Room with a View; Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show; the 2011–2013 Shakespeare Festivals; Rafta, Rafta…; Robin and the 7 Hoods; Alive and Well; Sammy; Cornelia; Since Africa;and The Glass Menagerie. Her Broadway credits include In the Heights. Her regional credits include Noura (Shakespeare Theatre Company), Indecent, Side Show, Ruined, The Third Story, Memphis,and Most Wanted (La Jolla Playhouse), and Post Office (Center Theatre Group). Her San Diego credits include Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, North Coast Repertory Theatre, and Lamb’s Players Theatre. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. Proud member of Actors’ Equity.


Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminars

This series provides Old Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatre going experience. Each Insights Seminar takes place 90 minutes before curtain time on the Tuesday after performances begin, and includes an informal reception 30 minutes before the start. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.


Post-Show Forums

Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast members. Get the "inside story" on creating a character and putting together a professional production. Post-show forums are scheduled after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Shakespeare in the Garden

Shakespeare in the Garden is a series of informal presentations that enhance the Summer Shakespeare Festival experience. These seminars feature members of the Festival creative team and take place in the Craig Noel Garden before each performance. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, August 24, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.


“A swoon-worthy staging under Broadway ace Kathleen Marshall’s direction.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“A total audience pleaser from start to curtain! Both Sara Topham and Michael Hayden demonstrate a gift for physical humor as well as snappy repartee. Unabashed giddiness will be in the night air!” —San Diego CityBeat

“A perfect summertime romantic comedy you don’t want to miss!” —BroadwayWorld

“One of the greatest romantic comedies ever written. Three-time Tony Award-winning director Kathleen Marshall creates a production as cheerful and beautiful as her Love’s Labor’s Lost two years ago. Thoroughly satisfying on a warm summer night under the stars!” —Jazz 88.3

“Kathleen Marshall directs a sparkling production set in the Italian Riviera of the 1930s and set to the music of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.  It is Shakespeare done as Noël Coward and it is delightful.” —KPBS

“Summer Shakespeare or no, this Much Ado would be a treat in any season.” —Talkin’ Broadway