By Zach Meyers
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Marjorie Sokoloff, artistic director of STAGES at Camden County College and head of the Theater Department, and Terrance Jenkins, theater stage manager for STAGES, are feeling rather confident about the season finale for STAGES performances. The final show is Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” one of his comedies and one of the more difficult plays to perform.
“Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed May 2 to 4 and 8 to 10 in the Little Theatre in Lincoln Hall on the Blackwood campus.
“Much Ado About Nothing” is very complex in that along with humor it includes elements and themes of honor, shame and court politics, all of which is made interesting because, hey, it’s Shakespeare.
Among many classics, Shakespeare’s plays are among the toughest to perform at any level, college not being an exception. Sokoloff said, “Shakespeare is always difficult … it’s been a huge undertaking, especially this play. Having 20 cast members, musical numbers, you name it.” Jenkins was of a similar opinion: “Shakespeare is difficult because the language is weird, but I think people make it harder than it needs to be.”
As to whether learning the play has been difficult for the cast members, Sokoloff reiterated, “It’s Shakespeare, it’s always difficult.” Despite how daunting it’s been, Sokoloff has very high hopes for the show: “It will be fantastic! What else am I supposed to say?”
Rehearsal started March 25 and has been difficult but everyone still has had fun, Jenkins said. Rehearsals took place in the Little Theatre and scenes weren’t done in any real order. Sokoloff asked actors individually if they wanted to go over a scene or something within a scene many times. One of the more common occurrences was Sokoloff’s asking for many, many redos. If it wasn’t perfect or believable, it wasn’t good enough. Once the actor got it, however, they had it. Jenkins filled in for an actor or two during a few scenes as well as helped those who were there in the event they forgot their line.
Jenkins said as Sokoloff prepares to retire after this show, it seems fitting she would go out with a Shakespearian bang and with one of his better works. The cast and crew are working to make sure it is as good as it can be.