In a cross talk, two writers sit down to discuss a book, movie, TV show, or piece of art they both feel strongly about. Sometimes they disagree; other times, they’re in perfect harmony. Here, Managing Editor Kat Struhar and Assistant Features Editor Ella Henn sat down to talk about “Much Ado About Nothing,” a Spike Tape production with recent performances in the WestCo Cafe on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

“Much Ado About Nothing” is a five-act comedy by William Shakespeare. It features four main characters: Claudio (Jacob Carton ’25), Benedick (Cole Lyman ’26), Beatrice (Sadie Goldstein ’24), and Hero (Lola Cortez ’26). In classic Shakespearean fashion, the romances between these characters are fueled by masked encounters, impersonations, and secret cupid’s-bow-shooting plots. However, this version was done in Y2K, making it all the more exciting. 

c/o Aden Sheingold

c/o Aden Sheingold

Kat Struhar: Were you familiar with the Shakespeare play before this?

Ella Henn: No.

KS:  I wasn’t either. I knew nothing about it.

EH: Yeah. I knew nothing about it. And I’d say it was pretty easy to follow for a Shakespeare play. I thought they did a really good job with direction and how they emphasized different words and made certain lines really funny in a way that I don’t think they were originally.

KS: I agree. I mean, it was a pretty classic Shakespeare comedy. That’s one of the things that I liked about it, that Shakespeare always has layers of jokes. And it seemed like the way they delivered their lines was really appealing to a Gen Z audience, even though it is the original Shakespeare script.

Going off that, we could talk about them doing it in Y2k. What did you think?

EH: I thought it was really well done. It was just kind of fun to have a cohesive subtheme going through the whole play. I don’t know that it really affected the whole experience that much for me other than just being fun to look at. I thought the costume and set was really well done. And also the WestCo basement—it’s such a funky space, so I liked that.

KS: I like the music that they played. It was definitely early 2000s.

EH: I really liked the music.

KS: It really set the vibe. It worked really well with the script, which is strange ’cause Shakespeare was written so long ago. But it somehow perfectly translates to teen drama and romance. Also the costumes looked so good. It was so Y2K. It was a good vibe.

I feel like the Y2K made it like, in a way, more accessible, at least for me, because a lot of the time I get so lost in the Shakespearean language, but the way they acted it and having it set in a high school, I felt like I was there. I knew what was happening.

EH: And I thought it was cute the way there would be a marriage in the script, but it would be like a dance.

KS: Or a prom. 

c/o Iza Konings

c/o Iza Konings

EH: Yeah. I thought that was really well done. I think, similarly to you, it always takes me a second to acclimate to Shakespearean language. But I definitely thought that having a recognizable frame and like the Y2K aesthetic helped me get to that point faster and start understanding the jokes.

KS: Plus it was like, even if you weren’t really listening to their words, you kind of got it just based on their facial expressions and the way they said things.

EH: Yes. It was so engaging. The way it was acted was just so well done and they enunciated all the lines. I just thought they were really, really well acted. Cole, who played Benedick, was amazing. I went with my whole house and we were all just blown away. 

KS: When he sang that song! Slayed. And it’s so funny because I know he can sing in real life. But he just did such a good job with the bad singing.

EH: Yeah. And the comedy was really well done I thought. [Lincoln Turner ’25, who played Don Pedro,] was really good. My whole house went for Jacob because he’s friends with one of my friends. I think that was his first time acting, and it was really well done. 

KS: Yeah, I agree. Jacob and I worked together, so that was the only context I knew him in. So it was really silly seeing him be this funny football character guy. Sadie also did really well. I knew everything that she was saying just by her facial expressions. Great actress. 

EH: There were some really good comedic scenes, but then the emotional depth on her face was so good.

KS: You gotta love the angsty girl in the Shakespeare show, you know? Classic. 

[Vincent Langan ’24] was my favorite in the entire show. The dad [Leonato]. He was so funny. I love the hairspray. 

EH: Yeah. The choices he made, I was like, this is really incredible. And the whole second act part about the police officers—or, I guess they were school crossing guards. 

c/o Iza Konings

c/o Iza Konings

KS: Dogberry [Zoe Holbo ’24]!

EH: They were really, really good too.

KS: Zoe was really committed to that. And also I know the stage manager [Iza Konings ’26] just stepped in ’cause the person playing Verges [Jackson Palmer ’26] couldn’t do it for the show. So that’s kind of crazy. Because [Iza was] fully committed to the character. You really wouldn’t have known.

EH: Yeah. Wow. I didn’t know. There was a whole villain plot.

KS: Yeah, the goth kids, which is so silly. That’s another thing that I feel like made more sense in Y2K. Of course the goth kids are feuding with the footballers.

EH: The visual—they are dressed so differently and had to do their makeup differently—that, I think, helped when I didn’t quite pick up on what was being said in the play.

KS: Also, the program was so cute. The graphic design, the yearbook quotes. 

EH: Do you know who directed it? 

KS: Sara Bateman ’24. So slay Sara. 

EH: Really well done. I know in the one that I saw, there was the marriage scene where Claudio was supposed to get even angrier than he did on Thursday. I guess somebody else forgot their line, but even that I was really impressed by it because they handled it. I don’t think anyone in the audience knew that they had missed the lines. 

KS: They were able to recover. If anyone missed lines the night that I saw it, I did not notice.

EH: I literally wouldn’t have known if Jacob hadn’t mentioned it. In conclusion, A+, really well done. I just feel like in this day and age, it’s hard to garner a lot of interest [for a Shakespeare show].

KS: I feel like for the people that love Shakespeare, they love Shakespeare. There aren’t that many casual enjoyers of Shakespeare. But watching this play, I felt like a casual enjoyer of Shakespeare. 

EH: Absolutely! It was super accessible.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Kat Struhar can be reached at

Ella Henn can be reached at