The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project Announces: Much adoe about Nothing


The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project (produced by The New Renaissance Theatre Company) is proud to present William Shakespeare’s Much adoe about Nothing, directed by our Artistic Director Elizabeth Ruelas. This summer, from July 11 – 19, USP will bring our unique brand of theatre to North Park (July 11), Harrison Hills Park (July 12), Hartwood Acres (July 13) and Collier Park (July 19) with two shows in Baltimore, MD on July 17 and 18, including one performance at Artscape. Much adoe about Nothing is a hilarious comedy featuring the famously fire-tongued duo of Beatrice and Benedicke. This show is fun, fast-paced, family friendly and free. Bring your family and friends out for a day in the park and some Shakespeare.

When Shakespeare wrote for the theatre, his company performed six shows a week – a different play every day – without repeating a show in a two week period and adding a new show to the repertory every two weeks. For many economic and practical reasons the actors never received the entire script of a play. Instead they received cue scripts that contained only their lines, the last few words of their cue lines, their exits and entrances and the few stage directions that could not be written directly into the characters’ lines. With this hectic performance schedule and limited information, when did the actors rehearse? The short answer is: they did not rehearse.

Neither do our actors! This does not mean that our performances are improvised. We hold an intensive workshop to teach our actors the unrehearsed cue script technique, which is a way to find and follow the stage directions and character clues that Shakespeare wrote into the text for his actors. Each actor meets individually with the director to go over his or her cue scripts line by line, word by word, punctuation mark by punctuation mark to make sure that everyone understands everything in their own text. We do rehearse fights, dances, music and any choreography, but the actors never get together to rehearse any scenes as a group. The first time that our cast will go through the play as an ensemble will be on stage in front of the audience! To mix things up even more, our actors are given multiple tracks (combinations of characters) that rotate with every performance. Our performances are overseen by an on-stage prompter who keeps the show moving forward and makes sure that everyone stays on script. What this means for the audience is that they get to see theatre in the moment of creation with no smoke or mirrors, just craftsmen hard at work.

This year, as USP grows, founders Elizabeth Ruelas and Andy Kirtland have created The New Renaissance Theatre Company to produce The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project and to further their other theatrical goals that include nurturing an ensemble of actors. Ruelas and Kirtland have developed the unrehearsed cue script technique from research and years of practical experience performing, producing and teaching theatre using cue scripts.

Much adoe about Nothing features the talent of Nick Benninger, Elizabeth Chappel, Alisa Cullison, Parag S. Gohel, Steve Gottschalk, Adam Huff, Tonya Lynn, Jenny Malarkey, Adam Rutledge, Josh Triplett and Cassie Wood.

For show times and directions to our performances and information about our cast, company and how we do what we do, please visit our website ( or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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