The Wild West takes on Shakespeare’s classic ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The Center for the Arts at Kayenta presents Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing" Aug. 9-11. | Composite images courtesy of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, St. George News

IVINS — The Center for the Arts at Kayenta is putting a Wild West twist on the treasured classic “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare. The play will have multiple showings this Thursday-Saturday in Ivins.

Combining the talents of professional artists, local favorites and student actors, this production features a vibrant fusion of storytelling that is guaranteed to please audiences and leave them rolling in the aisles with laughter. Shakespeare’s beloved characters, Beatrice and Benedick, match wits in a Wild West adaptation of the hit romantic comedy.

The project, conceived by Rich Hill and Zac Trotter, theater teachers at Hurricane and Cedar high schools, respectively, wanted to find a way to utilize the great skills and strong talent found right here in Southern Utah. With their students in mind, the production provided the opportunity for recently graduated high school students to gain additional experience and “a leg up” as they head into their college and career endeavors.

“Much Ado seemed like the obvious choice for this type of collaboration,” said Trotter, the play’s director, in a media release. “The play is about an older and a younger generation who intertwine themselves in each other’s lives.”

Hill and Trotter took every opportunity to cast students who fit the ages of the characters. “It was a lot of fun to call former students and offer them a part in this production,” said Hill, who coproduces and plays Leonato. “Now they are not only students, but colleagues.”

The Center of the Arts at Kayenta provides a new space for visual and performing arts, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 23, 2017 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The production will play at the new Center for the Arts at Kayenta, a beautiful new space right in the heart of Ivins featuring the dramatic western red rock landscape used by so many western movies of the past. The production’s concept aligns perfectly with the area and patrons who have come to love what Kayenta offers.

Prior to opening at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, the play was featured July 27-28 at the Bumbleberry Playhouse in Springdale, a small rustic space that incorporated the audience into the storytelling and included a dinner/theater option in cooperation with Porter’s Smokehouse and Grill located right next door to the playhouse.

Hill, Trotter and Kayenta Center Executive Director Jan Broberg invite the community to “join us for a rip-roaring, gun-slingin’, night of entertainment that can be enjoyed by children, family, Shakespeare lovers, and seasoned theatre patrons alike!”

Tickets are on sale now for evening showings Thursday-Saturday and one Saturday matinee at the Kayenta Center. Tickets can be purchased at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta website, by calling 435-674-2787 or at the box office, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, in Ivins. Admission is $30, and $10 student tickets are available. Use the promotional code “PINK” for a savings of $5.

Event details

  • What: Center for the Arts at Kayenta presents “Much Ado About Nothing.”
  • When: Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9-11, 7:30 p.m. | Saturday matinee, Aug. 11, 2 p.m.
  • Where: Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.
  • Cost: $30; $10 student tickets are available. Use the promotional code “PINK” for a savings of $5.
  • Purchase tickets: Online, at the box office or by calling 435-674-2787.
  • Center for the Arts at Kayenta: Website.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •

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