Much Ado About Nothing -- (McDonough)

by  William Shakespeare, Jerome McDonough

Short Play, Comedy  /  7m, 4f, 3m or f

From the author of Running comes a contest-tailored abridgement of the Shakespeare classic.

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Much Ado About Nothing -- (McDonough)

by  William Shakespeare Jerome McDonough

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    7m, 4f, 3m or f
  • Duration


    40 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Adaptations (Shakespeare)
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

From the author of Running comes a contest-tailored abridgement of the Shakespeare classic. Young lovers, virtue, villainy, and charming naivete abound. Don John and Borachio and the unwitting Margaret supply the deception regarding Hero. Claudio, Leonato, Don Pedro, and Ursula are the saddened recipients. Only Beatrice, Hero's closest friend, refuses to accept the fabrication and enlists the help of her sometimes suitor, sometimes nemesis, Benedick. Their love battle weaves through the other passions of the play. Order is restored despite the hilarious and oddly-worded meddling of Dogberry and Verges, the inept clowns, uh, constables (these plum comic roles are females in this version). The wedding day finally arrives, under most unusual circumstances, and Friar Francis (who helped right the wrong) blesses the union of Hero and Claudio. Benedick and Beatrice are each mirthfully betrayed by letters and poems in their own hands and a second love match is made. Only Don Pedro seems left out of the joy, and is chided by the formerly sworn woman hater, Benedick -- "Prince, thou art sad. Get thee a wife!" And music and dancing and celebration bring down the curtain on Much Ado About Nothing.
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Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance



  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Setting: Leonato's home in Messina.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable


  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)


7m, 4f, 3m or f

DON PEDRO - Prince of Aragon. 
DON JOHN - his illegitimate brother.
CLAUDIO - a young lord of Florence. 
BENEDICK - a young lord of Padua. 
LEONATO - Governor of Messina. 
BORACHIO - follower of Don John. 
HERO - daughter to Leonato. 
BEATRICE - niece to Leonato. 
MARGARET - waiting gentlewoman attending on Hero. 
URSULA - waiting gentlewoman attending on Hero. 
DOGBERRY - a Constable. 
VERGES - a Headborough. 
A MESSENGER - double cast (Sexton). 

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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Cross gender casting

Casting Notes

DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the MESSENGER may be played by female or male.



William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Jerome McDonough

Jerome McDonough

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