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The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: 'Much Ado About Nothing' performed by Folger Theatre (2009)

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness
Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. These ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

Much Ado About Nothing
presented by Folger Theatre
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Timothy Douglas***, Folger Theatre, 2009

Performed by

  • Dionne Audain*, Borachio
  • Doug Brown*, Leonato
  • Alexis Camins*, Claudio
  • Billy Finn, Friar Francis
  • Aakhu TuahNera Freeman*, Ursula
  • Rachel Leslie*, Beatrice
  • Matt MacNelly*, Verges
  • Tony Nam*, Don Pedro
  • Howard W. Overshown*, Benedick
  • Alex Perez, Dogberry
  • Fatima Quander*, Margaret
  • Joel David Santer*, Don John
  • Roxi Victorian, Hero
  • Craig Wallace*, Brother


  • Scenic Design by Tony Cisek**
  • Costume/Mask Design by Helen Q. Huang**
  • Lighting Design by Dan Covey**
  • Composition/Sound Design by Craig Wallace** and Matthew M. Nielson**
  • Production Stage Manager, Che Wernsman*
  • Resident Dramaturg, Michele Osherow

*Actors’ Equity Association
**United Scenic Artists
***Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

Read the text of Much Ado About Nothing on The Folger Shakespeare. Listen to Shakespeare Unlimited to learn more about the relationship between Shakespeare and the Caribbean.

Read the introduction by cast member Craig Wallace:

Hello and welcome to Folger’s Encores .I’m Craig Wallace. The Folger has been sharing selections from their plays, music, talks, and readings with you in this Encores series. For this final Encores selection for the year, we are revisiting the Folger Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Timothy Douglas.

This was one of the many productions that I’ve acted in at the Folger. Not only was I in the cast, but I also did the sound design and was the onstage DJ, setting the mood for all the festivities. We set our production of Much Ado here in our hometown. We used the neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. during the summertime Caribbean Carnival, an annual event that brings D.C. communities together in celebration, with a parade full of feathered costumes, extravagant floats, drum corps, and thumping island music as our backdrop. Much Ado has a little bit of everything that we love in a Shakespeare play: the verbal dueling of Benedick and Beatrice, who both vowed to stay single at all costs; the young love of Hero and Claudio; a little scheming and trickery, and, eventually, a wedding.

The selection you are about to see is from near the end of the play. Beatrice here, played by Rachel Leslie and Benedick, played by Howard Overshown, finally realize their love for each other. They pledge their devotion and seal it with a kiss and a dance. Enjoy this romantic moment, and song and dance from Much Ado About Nothing. And be sure to join us in the New Year for these bi-weekly episodes of Encores, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you.

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darknessCheck back every other Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger Theatre, Folger Consort, O.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.