Raven’s Feather offers sassy take on Much Ado

Helena company opens season May 9-19 with “rollicking, ribald” tale

On Stage

Raven’s Feather Productions launches the 2024 season with What Happened While Hero Was Dead by Meghan Brown.  This sassy update of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing debuts at the Helena Avenue Theatre May 9-19. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Ross Peter Nelson directs the play, which stars April Kortz, Emma Covarrubias, Haley McKnight, Ryan Eggensperger and Daniel Rosenberg. In addition, it features aerial performances by Elise Landles, Molly McKinney and Rosemary Howell of Bumblebee Aerial Fitness, choreographed by Sabrina Harding.

The spirited production gives Hero, infamously passive in the original Shakespeare, both agency and a lively personality. In this rollicking and ribald retelling, the situation is unchanged. Everyone believes Hero is dead. Her maid Margaret wants her to hide, Beatrice wants her to take revenge, and Benedick just wants her. So Hero takes it upon herself to figure out her place in 16th century society, starting with an education in the arts of love.

Meghan Brown is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written over a dozen full-length plays and whose work has been seen at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Studio Theater, Geffen Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Victory Gardens Theater and more.

“As Helena’s newest theatre company, Raven’s Feather is excited to bring What Happened While Hero Was Dead to the Helena stage,” says Nelson. “We are thrilled to find a piece that let us combine Shakespeare, aerial artistry and a modern sensibility.”

He notes that the play has adult language and sexual situations and is not appropriate for younger audiences.

Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for students and seniors, and available online at Raven’s Feather website.

Raven’s Feather Productions is non-profit that was founded by Ross Peter Nelson, Kelly Clavin-Keim and Barry Stambaugh with the goal of providing exciting contemporary drama by working with the local artistic community.

Helena Avenue Theatre is located at 1319 Helena Ave.