Community Theater Production Plays a Big Role


Love is in the air at the community theater in Dahlonega, where University of North Georgia students and local thespian volunteers are joining forces to bring a classic Shakespearean comedy to life. Dahlonega’s Holly Theater is hosting a production “Much Ado About Nothing” until Feb. 26. Junior English major Ethan Holtzclaw says, “There are shows running Friday through Sunday this weekend (Feb. 17 through Feb. 19) and next weekend (Feb. 24 through Feb. 26)” which start “around 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday.”

“Much Ado About Nothing” is “perfect for the Valentine’s season,” says senior English major Hunter Mauldin, who plays Don Pedro. He says, “The play is full of wholesome stories about love with hilarious comedy underpinning them,” and has “everything a theater-goer could want: comedy, romance, drama…” Holtzclaw says it is “the story about two people” whose “hate turns into love.” Junior English education major Alexis Brooks, who plays two characters, Hero and Verges, says the play is “one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies,” featuring several entangled plotlines. “If you’re a fan of rom-com flicks,” says Brooks, “you’ll feel right at home…”

The showing of “Much Ado About Nothing” is the result of several months’ preparation. “We started working on ‘Much Ado’ in early November,” says Brooks. “We began read-through rehearsals and early blocking sessions in the Holly Annex before finally moving onto the Mainstage in December.” Thus far, Brooks says “The most challenging part for me was painting the set. As a painter, I sometimes overwork a piece or run out of time. Our fabulous director, Marty Wallis, gave me full reign in painting the massive hedges for the garden scenes.” Moreover, Brooks says she has “several challenging quick changes, but I love to challenge myself by playing starkly contrasting roles.”

Since 1948, The Holly Theater has been hosting community theater productions like “Much Ado About Nothing.” As a 501c(3) non-profit, Mauldin says, “The Holly relies on community volunteers and ticket sales to keep providing arts and culture to Dahlonega. Support from UNG students would go a long way.” “In a town with not a lot of entertainment options,” says Holtzclaw, “[The Holly Theater] is a great place for the community to come together…”

To those interested in participating in future community theater productions, Brooks says getting involved at The Holly Theater is easy. If you’re interested, check out the Holly’s social media pages and website to see which shows have auditions running. She says the website has a Google Form interest survey that will help you get in contact with the Artistic Director.

Mauldin says Much Ado About Nothing is “a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare. Additionally, the University has always had a good relationship with The Holly, so it’s important for UNG students to help maintain that.”

feature image: Sami Mohammed