Mundelein High students perform Shakespeare on football field

Mundelein High students perform Shakespeare on football field

  • Mundelein High School theater students dealt with blustery weather and chilly temperatures -- not to mention COVID-19 safety protocols -- to perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend.

    Mundelein High School theater students dealt with blustery weather and chilly temperatures -- not to mention COVID-19 safety protocols -- to perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend. Courtesy of Sara Gunther

  • Mundelein High School theater students perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend.

    Mundelein High School theater students perform Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend. Courtesy of Sara Gunther

  • Mundelein High School theater students staged Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend.

    Mundelein High School theater students staged Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend. Courtesy of Cathy Schmidt.

 
Daily Herald report
Posted10/22/2020 9:44 AM

The play's name may be "Much Ado About Nothing," but the performances over the weekend by Mundelein High School theater students were worth every bit of the excitement they generated.

The students and performing arts faculty, faced with the possibility of no live productions this fall because of pandemic safety protocols, undertook a huge effort to shift their show outdoors to stage performances of the Shakespeare classic on the high school athletic field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
The football field at Mundelein High School became a substitute stage last weekend when theater students gave outdoor performances of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."
The football field at Mundelein High School became a substitute stage last weekend when theater students gave outdoor performances of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." - Courtesy of Cathy Schmidt

"Everyone involved agreed that for the sake of the students, staff and community, we needed to make this happen," said Jonathan Meier, the show's director.

"Performing Shakespeare outdoors has a rich history throughout the world, so it was the natural choice when we decided to go with an outdoor production."

Senior Mary McMurray said playing the role of Beatrice in the play has been a dream of hers.

"I have to admit that I never visualized it standing on the 50-yard line of our football field, but that just makes it more exciting," she said.

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"Everyone is thrilled to be performing for a live audience," added senior Matthew Callas, who plays the role of Benedick. "It is certainly a challenge to be playing scenes with other actors and staying at least six feet apart. It is an experience that none of us will soon forget."

COVID-19 kept Mundelein High School theater students from performing a fall play indoors, so they shifted gears to put on a production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend.
COVID-19 kept Mundelein High School theater students from performing a fall play indoors, so they shifted gears to put on a production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" on the school's athletic field last weekend. - Courtesy of Sara Gunther

In addition to McMurray and Callas, the cast included Roy Dumblauskas (Don Pedro), Alexis Lee (Leonata), Will Gonzalez (Claudio), Mira Guiritan (Hero), Lance Evans (Dogberry), Austin Knight (Don John), Megan Saunders (Ursula), Amari Liebe (Margaret), Addison Salski (Antonia), Eli Walter (Borachio), Leandro Ocampo (Conrade), Andy Lacroix (Friar Francis), Saedy Kugler (Verges), Brenda Olayo (Sexton), Grace Sciortino (Balthasar & Assistant Director) and Abigail Marquardt (Messenger).

Joslyn Gagne and Zoe Trahan were the stage managers, as well as appearing as the Watchman. Rosy Castro was an assistant director, and Meghan Matthys was assistant stage manager.

Mike Pope, assistant principal of student services, said school staff dedicated extra time to pull off the outdoor performances.

"When our staff is willing to go above and beyond to create meaningful opportunities for our students and families, administration is willing to do anything we can to support those efforts," he said.

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