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  • Rick Bergmann

UpStage Artists Announces Cast for Much Ado About Nothing!

UpStage Artists, Beltsville’s very own community theater troupe, is boldly going where it has never gone before—it’s performing Shakespeare! UpStage is putting on its first Shakespearean show, the classic Much Ado About Nothing. They are excited to try something new with this play, it’s a chance to allow its pool of actors to grow. Some of the cast you have seen before, and some are new to UpStage’s stage, and they are all fantastic.

            Much Ado About Nothing is one of the world’s oldest romantic comedies, which makes it ideal for a date night out to the theater. It’s a play that has something for everyone. In the show, everyone can see that confirmed bachelor Benedick and headstrong Beatrice are meant for each other—except for Benedick and Beatrice themselves! While their friends try to trick the bickering pair into admitting they’re in love, their young sidekicks Hero and Claudio start a romance of their own. But will false accusations, broken promises, and even a nutty and bumbling police force prevent a happy ending? Come out to the production and see.

            The cast for Much Ado includes Joseph Battley (Don John), Stacey Saunders (Balthasar), and Peter Rouleau (Don Pedro) from UpStage’s February Production of A Raisin In The Sun. Rose Coates (Ursula) who was in A View From The Bridge last season, her son Peter Coates (Watchmen) who has been in UpStage’s children’s production of the Wizard of Oz and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will be gracing the stage once more as well. Also returning is Neil Swanson-Chrisman (Dogberry) and Beltsville’s own Susie Mendelsohn (Verges) who both starred in Arsenic and Old Lace last year. Also, Neil was one of the stars of The 39 Steps. There are also several new faces gracing the stage this time around. They include Peter Eichman (Benedick), Margaret McCabe Janicki (Conrade), Laurel Miller-Sims (Borachio), Matthew Murray (Claudio), Jim Pasquale (Antonio/Friar), Megan Prichard (Margaret), Julia Purdy (Hero), and Jacqueline Youm (Beatrice). The director for this production is Anna Fitzmaurice, an UpStage Board Member and actress, who has appeared in UpStage Productions including And Then There Were None, Arsenic and Old Lace, and A View From The Bridge.

            Show dates for Much Ado About Nothing are May 31, June 1, 7, 8 2024 at 7:30 pm and June 2 and 9 at 2 pm. Tickets are just $10 and will go on sale in the middle of April. If you want to learn more about UpStage Artists or have questions you can always go to their website or contact them at

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