Five Questions with Oriana Harder and Christopher Cruz

Sara Cabrera, Writer/ Copy Editor

Students from the drama production, couple Oriana Harder and Christopher Cruz, share their experiences about taking on the roles of Beatrice and Benedict, lovers in the play Much Ado About Nothing.


Q1: How has your overall experience been with having to play the role of Beatrice with your boyfriend playing as Benedict?

A1 (Harder): It was fun because we have to basically hate each other in the play. The most fun part was on stage because we hate each other. I even do the Shakespearean version of flipping him off on stage, and then I go back stage and go back to being nice. It was fun being mean to the person you’re in a relationship with because we have to act like we hate each other until the end of the play when we fall in love; but we are both really sarcastic, even off stage, so it really doesn’t even matter.

A1 (Cruz): It’s amazing. It is definitely perfect that we got the roles of the couple in the play, especially because they are sarcastic, witty, and snarky and sometimes we kind of do that in real life. At the end of the play (spoiler alert) they fall in love, which is what happened with us.


Q2: Being in a relationship with Cruz, does it make it easier to act with him on stage?

A2 (Harder): Oh my gosh yes, because I find love scenes super awkward, and I always have, and so being with him and having to be all lovey on stage is so much easier that way, since I am already lovey with him off stage. We’re like the dorkiest people ever so it’s really easy—hard to take him seriously but easy.

A2 (Cruz): Yeah, it helps. We definitely have chemistry, so going on stage it’s obvious.


Q3: Do you find yourself breaking character frequently acting with your boyfriend?

A3 (Harder): I broke character during rehearsal. I did pretty good at not breaking character while performing in front of people, but during rehearsal it was so hard because he over did everything and we would make faces at each other during rehearsal, so it was hard. There is this one scene where he’s laying down and has his leg up on a chair and is trying to be all seductive and I could not look at him for that. It was so hard not to laugh and he did a kiss face every time we started the scene and it was horrible trying to focus.

A3 (Cruz): I’m really good at keeping my character. The only time when I guess you can say it’s a technical break in character is the end of the play. Claudio and Hero get the notes from Benedict and Beatrice that are written for each other. We thought it would be cute if we actually wrote notes to each other, and they were basically insiders and stuff that would make us break character. I am suppose to be happy at the note, but I guess you can still call that a break in character.


Q4: Did you and Cruz audition for those parts in the play because Beatrice and Benedict end up as a couple in the play?

A4 (Harder): I’ve naturally wanted to be that character since I read the play in the 10th grade and we knew we would get Much Ado About Nothing because Hanson told us. I was like ‘I want to be Beatrice, I have to be. She is super sarcastic and she was so much fun to read.’ Then I found out Chris wanted to be Benedict, so we were talking about how the chemistry would be really good. We didn’t start liking each other ‘till after Crucible, but we got a long really well. I completely forgot about the lovey parts; I just thought me and him being sarcastic to each other? Perfect.

A4 (Cruz): When we heard that Much A Do About Nothing was going to be our next play, we just naturally wanted to be Benedict and Beatrice. I thought about it and I was like, ‘Yeah, this would be great.’ At the time we weren’t together and we weren’t even that close yet, but I thought she would be great for that role and we act this way in real life, so I couldn’t think of anyone other than her that would have been more perfect for that role.


Q5: How long have you guys been together?

A5 (Harder): 3 months. He asked me to winter formal and on a date the same day during tryouts for the play. We found out we liked each other a week before and everyone was like ‘you guys like each other so do something about it’ so eventually we hung out and we told each other how we felt. On our first date, that was the day that Hanson was going to post the cast list so we were on our date but we kept checking our phones like ‘Dude has he posted it yet? Did we get our roles?’ It was an interesting first date.

A5 (Cruz): The day the cast list was up we went out on our first date and I asked her out that day so as of now its been 3 months.