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Shakespeare Set in Trinidad

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Tony Cisek's set rendering for "Much Ado About Nothing."
Tony Cisek
Tony Cisek's set rendering for "Much Ado About Nothing."

The Folger Shakespeare Theatre on Captiol Hill is setting its latest production in Northeast D.C. "Much Ado About Nothing" takes on a unique tone, when it's set in the neighborhood of Trinidad during Washington's annual Caribbean festival.

Elizabethan English works well in a Caribbean accent - that is, at least according to director Timothy Douglass. He's heading up the latest production of "Much Ado About Nothing" at the Capitol Hill theater. "Caribbean English, which is learned from the British...it's very, very proper. And so right there Shakespeare's text is being honored."

Douglass has been working with set designer Tony Cisek. They found the perfect location for a play written in the 16th century in an alley in Washington D.C. Douglass reminds Cisek of the foray when they found their set design: "It's that alley right behind H Street, Northeast, at that fish store that's on 12th or 13th..." Cisek recalling the quick find, "Yeah yeah yeah! And when you look at them there are balconies and staircases, and it's all very 'staging-friendly.'"

The Folger Shakespeare Theatre's "Much Ado About Nothing" opens tonight. Stephanie Kaye reports...


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