Much Ado about Nothing



Shakespeare & Company (70 Kemble St., Lenox, MA 01240, Lenox MA)

One of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedic masterpieces, Much Ado About Nothing celebrates love, friendship and comedy in some of Shakespeare’s most satisfying language.

As Count Claudio falls in love with Hero, the daughter of his host, Hero’s cousin Beatrice spars with Benedick, a confirmed bachelor who knows her of old. As plots emerge to threaten one union and encourage another, will courage, wit and compassion reveal the truth of their circumstances?

L. James performs in 'Art' at Shakespeare & Company. Press photo courtesy of the theater.
Photo by Nile Scott Studios

L. James, who will star as Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing, performs in 'Art' at Shakespeare & Company. Press photo courtesy of the theater.

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The play will run from July 2 to August 14 at 6:30 p.m. nightly (except Mondays), outdoors in the New Spruce Theatre.

(For indoor live performances, you will need to show a form of ID proof of vaccination or proof of a negative Covid test taken within the last 48 hours. You can also submit proof electronically.)


Gregory Boover (he / him) — Claudio

Boover has performed in many Shakespeare & Company plays, including as Feste Twelfth Night, Fenton/Slender in Merry Wives of Windsor, Silvius/Amiens in As You Like It, Iago in their Othello edudational tour, Bottom and Demetrius in their Midsummer Nights Dream educational tour, Leo in 4000 Miles and Scaramouch in The Emperor of the Moon.

Caroline Calkins (she / her) — Dogberry

Calkins has performed in many Shakespeare & Company plays including Time Stands Still, Love’s Labor’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Emperor of the Moon, Henry V, and others. She has taught for many years in Shakespeare & Co’s Education Program, including directing in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare (2011-2018) and performing in the Northeast Regional Tours of Romeo.

Gina Fonseca (she / her) — Hero

Fonseca is a Miami native actor and creative based in NYC. Her regional roles include the Witch with Huntington Theatre Company, Fade with Kitchen Theatre Company and Our Dear Dead Drug Lord in its Florida Premiere at Zoetic Stage at The Adrienne Arsht Center.

Nigel Gore — Leonato

Among many roles across the country, Gore has performed widely, recently as Titus in Titus Andronicus with the Portland Playhouse, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol with the Orlando Shakespeare, and roles from Gloucester in King Lear and Prospero in The Tempest to Caesar in Julius Caesar with Shakespeare & Company. He has appeared Off-Broadway as Dr. Rank in A Doll’s House, Ostermark in The Father;, Col Pickering in Pygmalion, Col. Brandon in Sense & Sensibility, Dorn in The Seagull and more.

Tamara Hickey (she / her) — Beatrice

Among many Shakespeare & Company roles, Hickey has appeared recently in Time Stands Still, Heisenberg, Cymbeline, The Tempest, Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her regional roles include Appropriate with the SpeakEasy Stage, God’s Ear (Elliot Norton Award Best Actress & Best Production), Henry VIII, Pericles, Living In Exile, all for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Rancho Mirage with the New Repertory Theatre and Cabaret with American Repertory.

L. James (he / him) — Benedick

James has appeared recently at Shakespeare & Company in Art, and his television credits include FBI. His theater roles include Sender, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Intimate Apparel, Hamlet, Sweat, The MotherF@cker with the Hat, ThreePenny Opera, Ideation and Angels in America.

Madeleine Rose Maggio — (Don John)

Among her Shakespeare & Company roles, Maggio has appeared as Cassie in The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, in the ensemble in Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World, as Marianne Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility, as Robert Shallow and Bardolph in Merry Wives, as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, as Longaville and Jaquenetta, Love’s Labor’s Lost, as Elizabeth Darcy in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley and as Helena and Cobweb, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bella Merlin (she / her) — Ursula

Among her Shakespeare & Company roles, Merlin has appeared as Maria in Twelfth Night, Sir Hugh Evans in Merry Wives of Windsor, Queen and Arviragus in Cymbeline, Trinculo in The Tempest, Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice, Margaret in Worse Than Wolves, and an outlaw in Two Gentlemen of Verona. Her regional performances include roles in the Colorado Shakespeare Festival as Margaret in Richard III, with the LA Phil in Beckett One–Acts and with the London National Theatre in A Laughing Matter, The Permanent Way and She Stoops to Conquer.

Devante Owens (they / them) — Conrad

Recent credits include Ade, The Easiest Thing (The Tank, NYC debut);S&Co: Burgundy, King Lear (starring Christopher Lloyd), Lucentio, The Taming of the Shrew, Dumaine, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Theseus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ensemble, I HAVE HAD A MOST RARE VISION, Ensemble, Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped the World.

Naire Poole (she / her) — Margaret

Naire Poole is a Virginia-born, New York based actor, director, teaching artist and organizational artist. After tackling the roles of Antigone, Hermia, and three (hang) during her time at FSU/Asolo Conservatory for actor training, she is returning to the industry with a spacious heart and determined mind.