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M*A*S*H Style Much Ado About Nothing Scheduled in Winnsboro

Local actors Leana McGuire and Nick Lockwood took part in a recent workshop to learn “Shakespeare’s Language” leading up to auditions and the production of a “M*A*S*H” adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Photo by Jim Willis

WINNSBORO — Winnsboro Center for the Arts (WCA) and The Bowery Players present Much Ado About Nothing in six shows between September 8 through 17.
This is a first-time presentation of Dr. John A. Price’s adaptation of a modern twist to William Shakespeare’s classic comedy. This version of Much Ado About Nothing is set in a Vietnam-era M*A*S*H unit. Shakespeare’s timeless language and storylines are accompanied by classic rock and Motown hits of that period.

In this witty comedy, a group of doctors arrive in Vietnam and surgery quickly takes a back seat to romance.

Price is a native Texan and an award-winning professional actor, director, and playwright. He has directed more than 50 productions in theaters, universities, and high schools in Boston, New York, and at The Actor’s Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Actor Training and Directing from Boston University and a PhD in Dramatic Theory and Performance from The University of Texas at Dallas. He taught high school and university courses for 35 years before retiring to the Winnsboro area and joining the WCA Team.

This is not Price’s first attempt to set Shakespeare’s work in a modern time period.

“I’ve adapted Shakespeare from a 1960s Twelfth Night to a post-apocalyptic Macbeth, Price says. “I’ve set Much Ado in a Desert Storm era when that conflict had just ended.”

Three of his adaptations are published (Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet) through Teacher’s Discovery, an organization that helps classrooms across the country.

Price said the idea to turn Much Ado into a Vietnam era show came to him while watching M*A*S*H television reruns.

“The relationship between Hawkeye and Hot Lips Houlihan is almost identical to that of Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado,” he says. “I love the music from that era and I thought it could work. My goal with adapting Shakespeare is always to make the unfamiliar, familiar, without severely altering the beautiful language or dumbing down Shakespeare.”

Performance dates are September 8, 9, 10 and 15, 16, 17. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $12 to $15 and are available on Eventbrite. Winnsboro Center for the Arts is located at 200 Market Street in historic downtown Winnsboro. Find the direct link for more information and tickets on

Winnsboro Center for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Winnsboro, Texas. As a multi-disciplinary arts center, it serves communities throughout Northeast Texas, engaging people in educational programming, cultural experiences, and entertainment.

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