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Georgia Southern Theatre production of Shakespeare classic streaming March 10

Elizabeth McCooey plays Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Georgia Southern University Theatre students on the Statesboro Campus will perform William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” directed by Sarah McCarroll, Ph.D., associate professor of theatre. The production will be available to stream March 10 through 14, and is free and open to the public.

Sophomore Elizabeth McCooey plays the female lead Beatrice in the show, which is a comedic play about misunderstandings, love and deception. McCooey said it was difficult to tell a love story on stage while dealing with COVID-19 safety protocols.

“Every COVID-19 precaution has been carefully observed, including face coverings and social distancing,” McCooey said. “One of the biggest challenges regarding this play was having to figure out how to tell two love stories without being able to kiss. It required some creative physicality, but I think we pulled it off.”

To help the audience understand the dialogue, the actors will wear masks with clear plastic around the mouths to help with lip reading.

McCooey said the experience of performing Shakespeare’s work during a pandemic has made her a better actor.

“This is actually the first Shakespeare show I’ve been a part of, and it was a completely different experience than I’d known before,” she said. “There is a lot for an actor to learn from Shakespeare if the actor will take the time to really dig into his work, like we have with this show. I definitely have learned skills I didn’t have before that will be valuable for me throughout the rest of my career.”

Although performing a Shakespearian comedy virtually presents challenges to relating to the audience, McCooey said the cast and crew are ready for the task.

“This is a rockstar cast, and I am honored to be working alongside every person on the stage,” McCooey said. “But it takes more than good actors to make a good show. With an excellent director, costumes, set, tech crew and stage management crew, I think this show is an excellent reflection of our department.”

For more information and to stream “Much Ado About Nothing,” visit


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