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Summer 2021 - Much Ado About Nothing

July 8-August 8, 2021


Shakespeare Under the Stars is back, in person, on San Juan Island!

Island Stage Left re-opens to live audiences this summer with Much Ado About Nothing, July 8-August 8 on the outdoor stage. Actors from all over the country have arrived in Friday Harbor to create this new production.

Shakespeare’s wittiest comedy takes place in a world emerging from wartime, eager for sunshine and laughter. Benedick, one of the returning military officers, engages in bouts of mocking repartee with Beatrice. They claim to hate each other, but their friends see something different under the surface. Meanwhile Claudio, a heroic junior officer, falls head over heels for Hero, a sweet, innocent young heiress.

But a series of sly tricks – some well-intentioned, some thoroughly vicious – throw this little world into doubt and confusion. Who can you trust? Your lover, your friend, your brother? Sophisticated aristocrats, or a dim-witted constable and his poor-but-honest assistants? Shakespeare piles deception on deception, the comedy increasingly tinged with regret at how easily people can be made to believe almost anything. By the time Shakespeare finally unmasks all the plots, we’ve laughed a lot but we’re a touch more thoughtful, too.

Director Helen Machin-Smith has chosen to set the story in the English countryside, during the summer of 1919. The costumes, music and manners of that era give special zest to this tale of trust and suspicion at work in human hearts. Come celebrate re-opening, with Shakespeare!

The show runs Thursdays through Sundays, July 8-August 8, at Island Stage Left, 1062 Wold Road, San Juan Island.


Bring blankets and/or warm clothes (even parkas) for when the sun goes down.

Admission is free, donations gratefully accepted.

All ISL cast and crew are fully vaccinated. For updated COVID-related restrictions, call (360) 378-1928 after July 1. (360) 378-5649



Since Island Stage Left offers all its performances free of charge, we do not sell tickets or take reservations (unless you are a member of the Star Circle), although donations are always appreciated and are essential to the longevity of the company.


Seating is on a first come, first served basis and arriving at least 15 minutes early is always a good idea especially for the indoor shows.


In the summer, our outdoor performances have chairs set up, and also space for you to bring your own chairs if you prefer, plus space for blankets and sleeping bags close to the stage.


The request to bring warm clothes and blankets is to keep you warm, as the temperature can drop 20 degrees on some summer nights.
We look forward to seeing you!

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