WINONA, Minn. — The Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance will present the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 30-April 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at the Academy Theatre in the Valéncia Arts Center.

The war is over. Don John, the rebellious brother of Don Carlos, has been returned to his proper subservient relationship, defeated, but not subdued. Count Claudio has proven himself valiant in battle and has fallen head over heels in love with Leonato’s daughter, Hero. And two of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters, Benedick and Beatrice, are at it again, their wits as sharp as swords, continuing their longstanding bantering battle of the sexes. Though so clearly meant for each other, their past failed relationship causes them to swear off any future romantic exploits. Can the others contrive to bring them at last together, even as jealousy and envy drive Don John to try to ruin everything?

For those unfamiliar with the witty Shakespearean classic, director Walter Elder sums up Much Ado as “a merry war between the sexes.” Throughout the play, audiences will enjoy the dance that frequently goes on during courtship as men and women both repel and attract one another. “It’s about pride and swallowing your pride,” Elder said. “It’s about vulnerability and having one’s heart broken. It’s ultimately about love.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and are available by calling the box office, 507-457-1715, from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.pagetheatre.org.

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