College Celebrates Shakespeare with Performance and Lecture

The American Shakespeare Center brings Much Ado About Nothing to campus, and the College also welcomes author Jean Howard on Oct. 7 for a lecture on Shakespeare.

For the third year in a row, the American Shakespeare Center’s (ASC) traveling troupe will visit Manhattan College’s campus to perform the comedy Much Ado About Nothing on Friday, Oct. 17. In addition, the College’s celebration of Shakespeare will begin a few days early with a lecture by Professor Jean Howard on Oct. 7 entitled The Complex Culpability of Women’s Speech in Shakespeare’s Domestic Plays.

Jean Howard, Ph.D., is the George Delacorte Professor of Humanities at Columbia University. Howard’s teaching focuses on Shakespeare, Tudor and Stuart drama, early modern poetry, modern drama, feminist and Marxist theory, and the history of feminism. Her collection of published works include Shakespeare’s Art of Orchestration (1984); Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in History and Ideology (1987); The Stage and Struggle in Early Modern England (1994); Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare’s English Histories (1997); Marxist Shakespeares (2000); and four generically organized Companions to Shakespeare (2001).

Based out of the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va., the American Shakespeare Center’s traveling troupe will perform on campus as part of College’s annual Family Weekend.

First performed by Shakespeare’s troupe in the late 16th century, Much Ado About Nothing has continually been revived in various forms. The play was adapted in 1993 by Kenneth Branagh and in 2012 by Joss Whedon.

“Much Ado is a play about finding your soulmate and what to do once you’ve found him or her. It’s about the sweet pain that comes from surrendering your heart and head to the biggest love you can imagine,” adds Jim Warren, artistic director and co-founder of ASC. “Our production will milk the sweetness of the love story and the warmth of the camaraderie and friendship, but we will also show the darker underbelly of doubt, mistrust, and callowness; we will show how dangerous and deadly choices arise from tragically flawed communications and from the alacrity with which people jump to the wrong conclusions.”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Students, their families and the local Riverdale community are invited to attend the play. The performance is General Admission, so please arrive early for good seats. The Manhattan College School of Arts and English department are co-sponsoring the performance.

To read more about Much Ado About Nothing, visit the ASC’s website.

The Oct. 7 event with author Jean Howard will be held at 4 p.m. in Hayden Hall, Room 100.

For more information and to reserve seats for Much Ado About Nothing, please email Brian Chalk, assistant professor of English, at

MC Staff