“I cannot recall reading a more comprehensive or entertaining account of the process of a play’s production.” — Sanford (Sandy) Robbins, Producing Artistic Director, Resident Ensemble Players (REP), the professional theater at the University of Delaware
“Very smart. . . a fascinating study of stagecraft.” –Michael Miner, Chicago Reader
“Absolutely the best record I have ever encountered of the creative process involved in theater production.” — Robert Morgan, costume and set designer
“A series of bright, clear photographs of what the author saw when he pulled aside the curtain in a Wisconsin Oz. . . . Shows us with rare clarity how a professional company prepares a production. — Kirkus Reviews
How does a theater troupe turn a script into a play? How do the actors imagine and develop their roles? How do the set and costumes and music contribute to the meaning? How are the playwright’s intentions discovered, and how much do they count? What does the director do? In Much Ado, Michael Lenehan approaches these questions with the curiosity of a fan and the skills of an award-winning journalist.
At American Players Theatre in Wisconsin–“the best classical theater company in America,” according to the Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout–Lenehan goes long and deep into a production of Much Ado About Nothing, taking us into the rehearsal room and the wig room, into the tech booth and the costume shop, and into the minds and imaginations of the actors, the director, the designers, and the artisans who bring the literature to life. Along the way he provides a witty gloss on one of Shakespeare’s most admired comedies. Much Ado is an uncommonly informative and entertaining performance. Theater people will smile and nod with recognition. Audiences will stand up and cheer.