Actors' Renaissance 2020

Too wise to woo peaceably

Beatrice loves Benedick. Benedick loves Beatrice. So what’s the problem? Feel the joy of love won and the ache of love lost as this story makes you laugh, breaks your heart, and then somehow puts it back together again.


Dr. Ralph Presents | Friday, Jan. 24 & more at 5:00pm

Discovery Space | Sunday, Jan. 26, Feb. 2, & more at 11:00am

Talkback Thursdays | Every Thursday after the performance

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Stuff That Happens
  • After a recent military victory, Don Pedro of Aragon and his troops arrive in Messina where they are welcomed by Leonato, the governor.
  • Beatrice (Leonato’s niece) and Benedick (Don Pedro’s friend) verbally spar with one another. Both adamantly swear they will never fall in love.
  • Claudio, another of Don Pedro’s contingent, tells Benedick that he is in love with Hero, Leonato’s daughter. Benedick shares this news with Don Pedro.
  • In an effort to help, Don Pedro plans to woo Hero on Claudio’s behalf and obtains Leonato’s consent for their marriage.
  • Leonato and his brother Antonio prepare for the evening’s festivities and mistakenly think Don Pedro plans to marry Hero himself.
  • Don Pedro’s bastard brother Don John rejects his sidekick Conrade’s advice to play nice and make up with his brother. Instead, he villainously opts to disrupt the lovers’ plans.
  • At the party, Don John convinces Claudio that Don Pedro has successfully wooed Hero for himself.
  • Don Pedro and Leonato undeceive Claudio and plan for the pair to wed. Don Pedro proposes a plot to make Beatrice and Benedick fall in love.
  • Don John devises another scheme against Claudio enlisting Borachio, another of his men, to make Claudio believe Hero has been unfaithful.
  • Arranging for Benedick to eavesdrop on them, Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato spin elaborate falsehoods alleging Beatrice’s love for Benedick.
  • Arranging for Beatrice to eavesdrop on them, Hero and Ursula (her gentlewoman) spin elaborate falsehoods alleging Benedick’s love for Beatrice.
  • Don John tells Claudio that Hero is unfaithful and promises to provide proof. Claudio vows to break off the wedding if the accusations are true.
  • Dogberry the Constable and his partner Verges prepare their watchmen for the night patrol.
  • Public shaming, love vows, murder plans, and redemption ensue.
What is the Actors' Renaissance?

Wondering what exactly the Actors’ Renaissance is? Want to learn more about our deepest dive into Shakespeare’s performance conditions? Check out our blog post:

The Actors’ Renaissance Explained (Sort Of).