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Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

September 10, 2011 - October 2, 2011

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sam Buntrock


On the sun-drenched island of Sicily, a group of soldiers have made a triumphant return from war, flush with victory—only to find that the battle between the sexes is not so easily won. Two River Theater launches our season with Shakespeare’s wittiest and most delightful romantic comedy, directed by Tony Award-nominee Sam Buntrock and starring two of the country’s most acclaimed Shakespeare actors, Michael Cumpsty and Kathryn Meisle, as Benedick and Beatrice.

A Note from the Artistic Director

Shakespeare Bio

Much Ado Cast List

Much Ado Synopsis

Professional Chemistry: An Interview with Sam Buntrock, Michael Cumpsty & Kathryn Meisle

On Playing Shakespeare's Clowns or, Have You Seen My Bottom?

Interview with Zeke Zaccaro: Actor and Staff Member

Summer Ensembles and Shakespeare

Theater Etiquette: Student Matinees


«August 2011»
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John Ahlin*
John Ahlin*


John Ahlin has previously appeared at Two River as Zuckerman in Charlotte’s Web and in The Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Waiting for Godot. Most recently John was seen in A Dram of Drummhicit, a world premiere by Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley at La Jolla Playhouse, and B.H. Barry’s adaptation of Treasure Island in New York. Broadway credits: Waiting for Godot (with Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane, and John Glover), Journey’s End (2007 Tony Award Best Revival), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Voices in the Dark, One Mo’ Time, Whoopee! and Macbeth. Off-Broadway John portrayed Orson Welles in Orson’s Shadow. TV credits: Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch, As the World Turns, The Education of Max Bickford. Regional experience includes Pittsburgh Public Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Old Globe, Goodman Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, and the Goodspeed Opera House.

Tom Bloom*
Tom Bloom*


Tom Bloom has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano, Henry IV, and Racing Demon. Off Broadway: Timon of Athens (New York Shakespeare Festival); The Widow’s Blind Date (Circle in the Square); All’s Well (Theatre for a New Audience); Arms and the Man (Roundabout); The Winter’s Tale (Classic Stage). Also: Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Pearl, Playwrights Horizons. Regional: The Clean House (Yale Rep); Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre, DC); Ah, Wilderness! (Baltimore Center Stage); Learned Ladies of Park Ave (Hartford Stage); The Rivals, Taming of the Shrew, many more (Williamstown). Other regional: Portland Stage (ME), Portland Center Stage (OR), George Street, Guthrie, Huntington, McCarter, NY Stage & Film, Bard SummerScape, Buffalo’s Studio Arena, Trinity Rep. Film/TV: The Thomas Crown Affair, Joshua, Emperor’s Club, Best Thief in the World, Max Bickford, Damages, Wonderland, Ed, Law & Order, L&O: SVU, L&O: Criminal Intent, The Jury. Directing: Abingdon, Pearl (NYC); Capital Rep; Theatre By The Sea, NH; Caldwell Theatre, FL; American Premiere Stage, Boston (AD); others.

Connor Carew
Connor Carew

Friar Francis, Verges

Connor Carew is happy to be joining Two River company. Regional Credits: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Snout), and tours of Romeo + Juliet and The Odyssey at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Troilus and Cressida and a tour of Julius Caesar (Brutus) with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Connor holds degrees from Temple University and the New School for Drama.

Michael Cumpsty*
Michael Cumpsty*


Michael Cumpsty has appeared on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George, The Constant Wife, Democracy, Enchanted April , 42nd Street, Copenhagen, Electra, 1776, Racing Demon, The Heiress, Translations, Timon of Athens (Bayfield Award), La Bete, and Artist Descending a Staircase. His Off-Broadway credits include Hamlet (Obie Award), Richard II, and Richard III (all for Classic Stage); Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale (all for the New York Shakespeare Festival); The Art of Success; Man and Superman. He has appeared in many of America’s premiere regional theaters. He played Leontes in The Winter’s Tale for the Royal Shakespeare Company at their home in Stratford-upon-Avon. On television he has appeared in the TV films Dolley Madison (PBS), Alexander Hamilton (PBS), The Lady in Question (A&E), Night Sins (CBS), Mistrial (HBO), Hamlet (PBS), and The Kennedys of Massachusetts (ABC). Michael has appeared as a series regular on Fox’s King of New York, CBS’s Bob, and NBC’s L.A. Law, and has played recurring roles on Star Trek: Voyager, Nurse Jackie, and Boardwalk Empire. His film credits include Eat Pray Love, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Starting Out in the Evening, The Ex, Flags of Our Fathers, The Visitor, The Ice Storm, Fatal Instinct, State of Grace, and the forthcoming Downtown Express and Burning Blue.

Sean Dugan*
Sean Dugan*

Don John

Broadway: Next Fall (Drama Desk Nomination). Off-Broadway: The Illusion, Next Fall, The English Channel, Perfect Harmony, BFF, Nerds, Valhalla, Corpus Christi, Flesh & Blood, Shakespeare’s R & J. Regional: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Roundhouse Theatre; Rough Crossing, Yale Repertory Theatre; The Cry of The Reed, Huntington Theatre Company; The English Channel, Walsh Theater/Vineyard Playhouse; The Four of Us, The Old Globe; Three Sisters, Enrico Four, Antigone, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Loot, Richard II, Idiots Karamazov, Cripple of Inishmaan, American Repertory Theatre; The Seagull, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, California Shakespeare Festival; Spring Forward, Fall Back, Theatre J and Vineyard Playhouse. National Tour: Swiss Family Robinson. International: Three Sisters at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival. Film/TV: On The Slope, Gigantic, Trust the Man, Company Man, Overnight Sensation, "I Just Want My Pants Back," "Eden," “The Good Wife,” “Fringe,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Beat,” “Oz”. Education: B.A. Theater Arts, Brandeis University.

Christopher Hirsh*
Christopher Hirsh*


Christopher Hirsh is making his first appearance at Two River Theater. New York: First Prize at ArcLight Theatre, kef productions; The Ring Cycle: Part 1 at PS122 undergroundzero festival; The Ring, Part 1 + 2 at the Bushwick Starr, Performance Lab 115; “Take 10” 2010 at Walkerspace presented by Theater Masters. His regional credits include Berkshire Playwrights Festival; the North Carolina, Great River, and Illinois Shakespeare Festivals; and Connecticut Repertory Theatre. Film: God of Love, a Luke Matheny Production, which won the 2011 Academy Award for Live Action Short. He received his MFA from the University of Connecticut.

Tia James*
Tia James*


Tia James is thrilled to be part of Much Ado with Two River Theater. Tia has recently been seen in UglyRhino’s debut of #nyc. You may have caught her on Broadway earlier this year in The Public’s Merchant of Venice; she previously spent an amazing summer in Merchant and The Winter’s Tale with Shakespeare in the Park. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program, Tia has starred in a number of plays including Once in a Lifetime; Tongue of a Bird; Rift; Mud, River, Stone; The Philanderer; Strindberg-Strindberg; and Hot l Baltimore. Tia’s TV credits include Nurse Jackie and Treme. She received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Tia thanks God, family, and friends for their love and support. “This above all: to thine own self be true..,” Hamlet Act I, iii Polonius.

Kevin Kelly*
Kevin Kelly*


Kevin Kelly has previously appeared at Two River in Accidental Death of an Anarchist, All My Sons, and last season’s Opus. New York appearances include the NYSF/Public Theater (The Brother/Sister Plays, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing), The Acting Company, HERE, Lincoln Center Institute, and 59E59. Regional appearances include Adirondack Theatre Festival, Arena Stage, Great Lakes Theater Festival, The Guthrie Theater, O’Neill Center/National Playwrights Conference, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Peterborough Players, Portland Stage, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, and Triad Stage. Film/TV includes As the World Turns, All My Children, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, Law & Order. As an accordionist, appearances include Erin and Her Cello, Zibaldone (directed by Chris Bayes), and particular subway stops around the city. He received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program.

Nick LaMedica
Nick LaMedica

Balthasar, Watchman

Nick LaMedica is so excited to be working on this show with Two River! NY theatre: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo with Sink or Swim Rep and Crash Theatre), Birthday Triage (Horace Mann Theatre), Return to the Onion Cellar: A Dark Rock Musical (NY International Fringe Festival/La MaMa), Titus Andronicus (American Globe Theatre), Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo with Shakespeare Miami and Tybalt with Castle Shakespeare Rep). Other recent favorites include Rabbit Hole, Our Town, and She Stoops to Conquer. He is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College: BFA Acting & Musical Theatre. Special thanks to the Wilton family for letting me crash—you guys rock! My love and gratitude to my incredible parents, friends, family, and Lilly. Without your support and love, none of this would be possible! Visit Nick on the web: and

Kathryn Meisle*
Kathryn Meisle*


Kathryn Meisle has appeared on Broadway in A Touch of the Poet, The Constant Wife, Tartuffe (Tony Award nomination and Calloway Award), London Assurance, The Rehearsal, Racing Demon (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: Women Beware Women at Red Bull Theater (Calloway Award); Living Out (Second Stage);Top Secret, What You Get and What You Expect, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (New York Theatre Workshop); Old Money (Lincoln Center); Twelfth Night, As You Like It (Drama Desk nomination) and Othello (New York Shakespeare Festival). Recent regional credits include: Leaving by Vaclav Havel with David Strathairn at Wilma Theater; Creditors at La Jolla Playhouse; A Flea in Her Ear at Williamstown Theatre Festival; The Real Thing and Three Sisters at The Guthrie. In NJ: Wonderful Tennessee, Humpty Dumpty, and Mrs. Packard at the McCarter; Blithe Spirit and Little Foxes at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Film and TV appearances include: Private Practice, Body of Proof, The Closer, Bones, The Unusuals, Lie to Me, Grey’s Anatomy, Damages, New Amsterdam, Brothers & Sisters, Without a Trace, OZ, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, Bereavement, You’ve Got Mail, The Shaft, and Rosewood.

Aaron Clifton Moten*
Aaron Clifton Moten*


Recent New York credits include Regan in King Lear directed by Ed Iskandar; Henry V in The Life of King Henry the Fifth directed by Nigel Smith; The Seagull directed by Richard Feldman; A Raisin in the Sun directed by Jade King Carroll (The Juilliard School). Regional: Sweeney Todd (Texas Long Center). Film: Soft Focus (Roderick Gailes OBC Productions). Alumnus, The Juilliard School.

Mary Anne O'Brien
Mary Anne O'Brien

Ursula, Sexton

Mary Anne O’Brien is a member of Two River’s Local Artists Network. As such, she made her debut on stage here last season as Mrs. Zuckerman’s understudy in Charlotte’s Web. She has also understudied Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Ariadne in Heartbreak House, Mom in ReEntry, and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other professional credits include print, commercials, industrials, and film. Many thanks to her family, especially her husband Kevin and her two sons Kevin and Matt; her teachers Terrie, Ruth and Cheryl; and everyone at Two River Theater Company for this performing opportunity and for their ongoing support.

Steven Skybell*
Steven Skybell*

Don Pedro

Steven Skybell previously appeared at Two River in last season’s Candida. Broadway: Pal Joey; Wicked; The Full Monty; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Cafe Crown; Ah, Wilderness!. Off-Broadway includes: Antigone in New York (Obie Award), The Age of Iron (CSC), The Lesson (Atlantic), The Controversy (The Public), What Didn’t Happen (Playwrights Horizons), numerous Shakespeare productions at the Delacorte, The Public, and Theatre for a New Audience. Regional credits include Arthur in Camelot (Helen Hayes nomination), title roles in Uncle Vanya (McCarter/La Jolla) and Hamlet (California Shakespeare), Westport Country Playhouse, former company member of American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, Mass., inaugural season of Shakespeare’s Globe, London (PBS’ Great Performances). BBC radio drama: The Day That Lehman Died (Peabody Award). TV/Film: Law & Order, Sex and the City, All My Children, Simply Irresistible, Cradle Will Rock, Tom and Francie.

Annapurna Sriram
Annapurna Sriram


Annapurna Sriram is a southern native, hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. She is making her Two River debut with Much Ado About Nothing. Past favorite roles include Frida Kahlo in McCarter Theatre’s Youth Ink! Festival, Henrietta Iscariot in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Rutgers University, Pharaoh Hatshepsut in Egyptology at Rutgers University, various roles in Fires in the Mirror at Rutgers University, and Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe, London and Rutgers University. Annapurna is a recent graduate of the BFA Acting Program at Rutgers University.

Zeke Zaccaro*
Zeke Zaccaro*

Antonio, Watchman

Zeke Zaccaro has worked as an actor, designer, technician, and administrator in theater, film, dance, opera, and television for more than 40 years, in venues ranging from storefront theaters to summer stock barns to the Metropolitan Opera. He has worked with, among others, Mandy Patinkin, Meredith Baxter, Treat Williams, Michael J. Fox, David Birney, a rabbit, and a goat. During the past 14 years, Zeke has served in various capacities at Two River Theater—as carpenter, Technical Director, and Production Manager. For the past seven years he has been the theater’s Director of Operations.


Video | Slideshow | Playbill
playMuch Ado About Nothing Meet-and-Greet

Much Ado About Nothing Meet-and-Greet

playMuch Ado About Nothing Trailer

Much Ado About Nothing Trailer


Much Ado About Nothing Playbill

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Press Release | Features | Reviews
Press Release



September 9, 2011 - The Star-Ledger: 'Much Ado About Nothing' preview: Michael Cumpsty to play Benedick, Peter Filichia

September 7, 2011 - RedBankGreen: A MERRY WAR ABOUT ‘NOTHING,’ AT TRTC, Tom Chesek

September 9, 2011 - Asbury Park Press: Hello and ado, Tom Chesek


September 19, 2011 - TheaterMania: Much Ado About Nothing Review, Brian Scott Lipton

September 20, 2011 - Asbury Park Press: Best of the Bard, Tom Chesek

September 25, 2011 - New York Times: ‘Much Ado,’ With Summer Suits and Sundresses, Anita Gates

September 25, 2011 - Much Ado About Much, Philip Dorian

September 26, 2011 - Red Bank-Shrewsbury Patch: Love, Hate, Deception and Truth at Two River Theater, Steve Rogers

September 26, 2011 - Talkin' Broadway: Inviting, Sunny Setting for Somber Much Ado About Nothing, Bob Rendell

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