What Goes on Behind the Scenes of MHS Theatre?


Keira Marckel

On Feb. 2-4, MHS Theatre will present Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” in the Blackbox Theater. The cast and crew have been preparing for the show since late November.

Cameron Johnson

On Nov. 28 and 29, 43 students auditioned for the next Middleton High School (MHS) Theatre Production, “Much Ado About Nothing,” which MHS Theatre will perform Feb. 2-4 at 7:30 p.m. Many students were new faces in the program, but of the 43 students, only 21 got cast in the show. 

“Much Ado About Nothing” is a Shakespearean comedy with plenty of — well — comedy and romance. 

“It’s a big shift from Romeo and Juliet last year,” Lalou Ratsimihah, who will play Don Pedro, said. “No one dies, which is great!” 

The show will be directed by Tim Gittings, who is an actor at American Players Theatre in Spring Green. Gittings has directed the MHS Shakespeare shows every winter for the past six years. Katrina Brunner decides which plays they are going to do throughout the year during the summer, which include the fall play, the one act play and the musical, and Gittings decides the Shakespeare play.

Theater gives many people a common interest to bond over, from music to humor and Shakespeare, but there is an extraordinary amount of work that goes into the plays. 

For those who are called, there are rehearsals to get down lines and blocking Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 6 p.m. for the months leading up to tech week. 

But rehearsals are just for the actors of the play. There are dozens of other people working behind the scenes to make costumes, sets, and props. Not to mention all the technical aspects that go into the show. 

All this hard work culminates in the two weeks before the show called tech week. During tech week, everyone in the cast and crew is called for rehearsals that can go from 4 p.m. to even as late as 9 p.m. at night. Weekend rehearsals also start up during tech week, all in preparation for the performance.  

Then, it’s showtime. MHS Theatre will perform “Much Ado About Nothing” the first week of February, and they are excited to welcome students and the community to yet another humanizing Shakespeare experience. 

“Everyone should go see it!” Ratsimihah said. If not for a good show, then to see and support all of the hard work that is put into the production. 



Beatrice – Kennedy Wagner 

Benedick – Alex Arinkin 

Don Pedro – Lalou Ratsimihah 

Claudio – Roddy McLellan 

Leonato – Lennon Maher 

Hero Ava – Greenberg 

Antonio – Isa Garay 

Don John – Giovanna Iosso 

Borachio – Matthew Jordan 

Conrad – Juliette Mandelbrot 

Dogberry – Rebekah Stine 

Verges – Nina Chan 

Margaret – Aaliyah Razvi 

Ursula/Servant – Annabelle Latino 

Balthasar – Blu Ginko 

Friar Francis – Reese Johanningmeier 

Sexton – Annabelle Latino 

1st Watchman – Kate Vatthauer 

2nd Watchman (George Seacole) – Ailin Cobo Sanchez 

3rd Watchman (Hugh Otecake) – Natalie Feagan 

Messenger – Shay Roy-Lewis 



Assistant Director – Nicky Westerlund

Dramaturg – Eli Tedesco

Stage Manager – Aadhi Balasubramanian

Assistant Stage Managers – Gabby Hellmer and Isa Killian

Run Crew – Naadia Veit, Sylvie Schmitz, Amelie Lasecki and Karter Erlandson

Props Designer – Ashton Cooper

Props Crew – Lunar Wozniczka and Evelyn McLay

Co-Costume Designer – Sophie Pieters and Claire Wozniak

Costume Crew – Star Tangwell, Anna Reinke, Keira Marckel, Ari Marckel, Lili Elliott, Ella Baldock, Ava Leonhardt, Leela Benson and Kaja Mowery

Co-Lighting Designer – Ev Washburn and Aydin Rosas

Light Board Operators – Nicky Cyra and Lizzy Robinson

Hair and Makeup Designer – Kate Vatthauer

Hair and Makeup Crew – Ahnastacia Higgins, Marcus Coleman, Revon Salmon, Jazmin Lima, Ava Leondhardt, Daniela Mendiola Aucapina and Yan Yang

Sound Designer – Julia Burkholder

Sound Operators – Nathan Ma and M Stimson