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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Spotlight On: Cast of “Much Ado About Nothing”

The department of theatre and dance takes on Shakespeare’s classic comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” this weekend, with all performances in Betts Theatre. Three cast members – Calder Stembel, Maddie Hendricks and Kayla Knapp – took time off from their rehearsals to answer a few questions from Hatchet Arts.

Hatchet Arts: Who or what inspires you?

Calder Stembel (Claudio): I dabble in many art forms, so I feel inspired every time I experience a fantastic work of art, be it a book, play, painting, film, or song.

Maddie Hendricks (Hero): The upperclassmen that I’ve met this year (in both student theatre and mainstage productions).

Kayla Knapp (Beatrice): I’m inspired by music. I’m also inspired by people. As an actor, I try to empathize with everyone I encounter. Seeing the world through someone else’s eyes can be humbling and powerful, and gives me the artistic spark of inspiration when I’m playing a character.

HA: Greatest accomplishment so far?

CS: Claudio is my first major role in a long time, so being in “Much Ado About Nothing” and working with such a tremendous cast and director is a great accomplishment for me. I’m also extremely proud of being a volunteer counselor at Camp Kesem GW.

MH: Surviving first semester of freshman year and loving it!

KK: I am a freshman, so my greatest accomplishment so far has been coming to GW and adjusting to college life!

HA: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

CS: I see myself in college in 10 years; not as a student, but as an administrator advocating for students and making sure arts programs get the support they deserve.

MH: I hope I will be acting/directing/playwriting anywhere, any place.

KK: Hopefully doing what I love and being surrounded by people I love!

HA: If you were unable to act anymore, what would you do?

CS: Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage.” To live is to act. If I wasn’t acting in a formal production, I’d still be performing the role of friend, writer, musician, cinéaste, organizer, etc.

MH: I would direct or write plays. I would figure out a way to keep theater in my life somehow!

KK: I’d probably concentrate on music a lot more. I know I’d have to be involved in the arts in some capacity.

HA: What is your hidden talent?

CS: I can juggle and I play the drums. If I wasn’t acting in Much Ado, I’d be playing in the show’s jazz band.

MH: Playwriting.

KK: I’m an Irish step dancer!

HA: What can always make you smile?

CS: Irreverent humor, like the kind found in “Arrested Development” (may it rest in peace).

MH: When people who do not love, or know anything about theatre, come to see a show.

KK: My friends.

HA: Favorite quote (or scene) from “Much Ado About Nothing”?

CS: My favorite scene in Much Ado is the wedding scene in which I denounce Hero at the alter. It shows how inexperienced and fragile Claudio is, that he cannot control his emotions despite his formal, soldierly appearance. And it’s fun being able to let loose with the intensity of the scene. A close second is scene 3.2 (the “toothache” scene) because Don Pedro and I have some great banter making fun of Benedick.

MH: “Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps!”

KK: Any scene with Dogberry and Verges! They are hilarious.

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