GETTING READY to shine. Masquers’ lighting designer Daniela Viosinet, a junior, focuses an ellipsoidal light during rehearsals for “Much Ado About Nothing.” (Courtesy Photo)

 

NORTH READING — The winter production of Masquers, “Much Ado About Nothing,” is competing in the preliminary round of the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild’s Dramafest at Franklin High School on Saturday, March 2.

In preparation for the competition, Masquers will perform “Much Ado About Nothing” at 7 p.m. next Thursday night, February 29 at the Performing Arts Center at North Reading High School. Tickets will be sold at the door for $5 (general admission seating; handicapped-accessible seating available both up front and in the rear of the theater).

Set in the 1860s on Leonato’s farm estate, the Messina, the timeless play showcases the trials, tribulations, and giddiness of the game of love. Add a little conspiracy and lots of witty banter and you get Shakespeare’s best romantic comedy.

This Shakespearian comedy gives the audience laughs and surprises at every corner, while also teaching that what you expect isn’t always what you get. This is the first time Masquers’ has tackled a Shakespeare script in two decades, so you won’t want to miss this hilarious adventure. Run time is about 40 minutes.

The cast of “Much Ado About Nothing” includes seniors James Dillon as Benedick, Brian Conlon as Don Pedro, Fahd Benhafoune as Verges; juniors Alivia Rowe as Beatrice and Marshall Murray as Claudio; sophomores Nolan Barrette as Don John, Vasiliki Kouirkoudis as Ursula, Mikey Manupelli as Borachio, Caitlin Milligan as Margaret, Matt Mulcany as Leonato, Anthony Spina as Dogberry and Cecilia Thomson as Hero; and freshmen Riley Maibor as Francis, Elliana Rainey as Maid and Sam Voisinet as Boy.

As is the case with all Masquers productions, the technical students take over one month to research the show, the time period, and the inner-workings that are needed to make the show a success. Everything from the set, costumes, props, sound and lights are designed and executed by students.

The creative team, under the direction of Mrs. Allison Kane, includes technical directors Mr. Peter Kane and Mr. David Barber. Student leadership includes stage manager, director and costumer Piper Kirwin, assistant stage manager Matt Capalbo, lighting designer Daniela Voisinet, sound designer Sofia Naulivou, artistic designer Stevie Schomp, properties master Adriana Gonzales, and technical crew and set designers senior Danika Reid, junior Emily Burton, and sophomores Grace Coleman, Rachel Duval, Mikayla Hurley and Brady Mills.

Preliminary round ticket sales

Tickets to the preliminary round of the MET Guild Dramafest hosted by Franklin High School will be sold at the door starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2. An All-Day Pass is $10, which enables theater-goers to see up to eight one-act plays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Each show is about 40 minutes long. The Masquers will compete at 11:15 a.m.

Opening ceremonies begin at 8:45 a.m. and the awards presentation is at 7:30 p.m. Other schools competing are: Southeast Reg. Vocational Tech (“Metamorphosis”); Norwell HS (“Radium Girls”); Cardinal Spellman HS (“No Problem”); Wellesley High School (“Insanity of Mary Girard”); Brookline High School (An original TBD play); and Franklin HS (“Flowers for Algernon”).

Save the date: March 9

“Win or lose, Masquers has put their heart on the stage,” Mrs. Kane said. Looking ahead, Masquers will also host the semifinal round of the METG Dramafest competition on Saturday, March 9. Semifinal round tickets will be sold at the door starting at 8 a.m. for $15 (cash and check only). For questions or assistance ordering handi-accessible seats call the box office at 978-526- 5430 or email nrperformingarts@gmail.com

To follow their progress on this journey go to masquers.weebly.com, or any of the social media platforms @nrhsmasquers.