In their most recent production, the Piedmont College theatre department once again brought Shakespeare to the stage with the timeless comedy classic, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

“Much Ado” is one of Shakespeare’s most famous pieces. It has been adapted numerous times, most notably in the 1993 film of the same title. The story follows soldiers who have returned from war.

Don Pedro, played by Dashawn Crawford, is a charming man who helps his two companions find love. Claudio, played by sophomore Tyler Vandiver, is in love with Hero, the daughter of Leonato, played by senior Zach Grizzle. However, Claudio is too shy to admit his true feelings to the maiden, portrayed by sophomore Chelsea Harris. Thankfully, Don Pedro steps in and brings the two love birds together.

Don Pedro’s bastard brother steps in to manipulate the situation; Tatum Williams shines as Don John, the play’s jealous antagonist who wants to ruin his brother’s happiness. Meanwhile, Benedick is very open about how he detests marriage and anything to do with it. This seems to be the only thing he and the sharp-tongued Beatrice agree upon. Everyone else sees the obvious chemistry between the two lovebirds, played by sophomore Hunter Blackburn and junior Ansleigh Harrison, and begin playing the two to admit their feelings.

Director John Spiegel adores history and wanted the audience to be transported back in time to Elizabethan London. For “Much Ado,” the Swanson Mainstage underwent an extensive makeover to better resemble The Globe, Shakespeare’s outdoor theatre. The most notable change was the extension of the mainstage, which was altered to stretch out several rows further into the audience. Spiegel also decided to keep the house lights on throughout the performance, simulating the natural sunlight that would have lit up The Globe. Period music was played out of speakers throughout the theatre.

The cast was remarkable in their performances. Every performer spoke using the traditional pronunciation of Elizabethan English.

Hunter Blackburn shined on stage, acting in his first lead role at Piedmont and bringing humor to the stage. Dashawn Crawford is a familiar face to any Piedmont theatre-goer, and it was great as usual to see him in a lead role.

Anleigh Harrison stood out on stage, taking on a very different role than her past performance as Catherine in “The Foreigner.” Her character was much wittier than roles in the past, making quite a few quick jabs at Blackburn’s character.

Chelsea Harris makes a lovely, gentle Hero and Zach Grizzle was made for Shakespearean performance. Other side-characters, such as Mikayla Walters’ show-stealing portrayal of Dogberry and Tamara Morris’s hilarious portrayal of Borachio, made this an unforgettable show.

The actors on stage weren’t the only performers in this production. Piedmont students were dressed as citizens of old London, scattered about different areas in the theatre. There were all kinds of different characters, such as a fruit vendor, a barmaid, a town guard, a beggar and even the major of London. Fruit and coffee were sold to audience members from in-character vendors, just as it would have been at The Globe.

The careful integration of old-fashioned traits, dress and architecture immersed the audience into the Elizabethan time period, making “Much Ado” stand out even more.