Yale Rep to stage a ‘modish ripoff’ of a classic Shakespearean play

The world premiere of “These Paper Bullets!” — described as a “modish ripoff” of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” — is the next production in the Yale Repertory Theatre’s season.

The play centers on Ben, Claude, Balth, and Pedro Quarto. The foursome from Liverpool are worshipped by their fans, feared by Scotland Yard, and despised by their former drummer. Can they succeed on their quest to find true love in London and cut an album in seven nights? 

These Paper Bullets!” is adapted by Pulitzer Prize- and Emmy Award-nominated writer Rolin Jones. Directed by Jackson Gay, the play features new songs by Grammy Award-winning Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, who wrote the Tony Award-winning musical “American Idiot.” The show will run March 14-April 5. Opening night is Thursday, March 20.

The play was commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre with development and production support provided by Yale’s Binger Center for New Theatre and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The 19-member cast includes David Wilson Barnes, James Barry, Jabari Brisport, Stephen DeRosa, Bryan Fenkart, Ceci Fernandez, Christopher Geary, Brad Heberlee, Anthony Manna, Brian McManamon, Andrew Musselman, Keira Naughton, Adam O’Byrne, Lucas Papaelias, James Lloyd Reynolds, Jeanine Serralles, Greg Stuhr, Ariana Venturi, and Liz Wisan.

The production features choreography by Monica Bill Barnes, music direction by Julie McBride, scenic design by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Jessica Ford, lighting by Paul Whitaker, sound design by Broken Chord, projections by Nicholas Hussong, orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt, dialect coaching by Stephen Gabis, dramaturgy by Catherine Sheehy and Ilya Khodosh, and stage management by Robert Chikar.

“These Paper Bullets!” is Yale Rep’s 2013-2014 “WILL POWER!” production, and three 10:30 a.m. performances will be available only to high school student groups. For more information about “WILL POWER!,” contact Ruth M. Feldman at 203-432-8425 or rm.feldman@yale.edu.

The play contains strong language and adult content. Contact the Yale Repertory Theatre box office at 203-432-1234 for more information about the themes and content of this production.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, with additional 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays, March 22, 29 (alo an open-captioned and audio-described performance), and April 5, and on Wednesday, March 26. There is one Monday performance, on March 17. Other special events include a reception for senior citizens at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, and Talk Back conversations with members of the cast and crew following the Saturday evening show on March 22.

Tickets for the play are $20-$98 and are available online, by phone at 203-432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep Box Office, 1120 Chapel St. (at York Street). Student, senior, and group rates are also available.