"Much Ado About Everything," written and directed by local author Jane Perry, is the spring play at Jefferson City's Stained Glass Theatre.
This is Perry's fourth produced play.
It is the story of two matronly sisters, Mary and Martha, played by Jill Priddy and Patricia Wheeler, who have a basically calm life until a stranger comes into town. The sisters are involved in the local church committees, and along with several other ladies, they decide the minister, played by Ed Houchens, needs a wife. Between the stranger in town and the search for the minister's wife, chaos ensues, and when the local orphanage needs help, the sisters open their home to the orphaned children, thus providing for many comedic moments.
Six children ages five through 15 play the role of orphans, bringing the total cast to 14.
According to Perry, the idea for the play came from her relationship with her sister, and she wanted to show how helping neighbors is the most important thing we can do. She also tries to write about how we get caught up in insignificant things, and she wanted to show what is really important in life.
The play is set in the Victorian era, which required a lot of work with the set design and furniture collection. Perry said she browsed the antique malls and flea markets to come up with many pieces, and Habitat for Humanity offered a period doorknob for the theater to use.
Roger Martin designed the set, which was built by Mike Harvey. Both spent countless hours to create a set that is pleasant and puts the cast and audience in Victorian times. Mila Moore is the light technician.
Costumes came from the Stained Glass storage racks, from Goodwill and cast members. The Victorian era provided a challenge in this area as well.
The play is very family-friendly, so no age recommendations are necessary.
"I enjoy doing this because it is a service to the community, and I thank Stained Glass Theatre for giving me the opportunity to do this," Perry said. "It is fun to watch the plays give pleasure to audiences."
At a glance
What: "Much Ado About Everything" by Stained Glass Theatre.
Where: 830 E. High St.
When: Now through May 4, 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; 2 p.m. matinee on Saturdays.
For more information: (573) 634-5313 or www.sgtmidmo.org.