A popular adage among fans of Shakespeare  demands that The Bard’s work be seen in performance to be truly appreciated, as a mere reading fails to capture the true magic and majesty of his genius. Director Jonathan Epstein, the man helming FSU/Asolo Conservatory’s current production of Much Ado About Nothing in Marie Selby Gardens, takes that a step further. Real Shakespeare, he says, happens in the wild. Or at least outdoors. “It’s both more intimate and a larger experience,” explains Epstein. Part of this comes from the natural freedom felt simply by being outside, which subconsciously encourages performers to reach higher and make bold choices. “There’s room for more emotion outdoors,” he says. “The emotions and the expressions of them can be larger than you’d ever feel comfortable with indoors.” At the same time, and perhaps paradoxically, stepping out of the familiar comfort zone of the stage puts the actors in a heightened state of awareness, embracing and surmounting uncontrollable elements such as wind. To this purpose, Epstein keeps all his performers un-miced. Performing outside, and in the full round with a 25-foot-wide circle stage, also serves to democratize the experience, bringing the audience on equal, or even elevated, footing with the performance. And if a play is, as Epstein says, “society thinking out loud to find out what it believes,” then far better to talk with an audience, than talk at them. “It’s completely different and far, far deeper,” he says. “I’d like them to come away feeling generous, like they want to be kinder to the next person they meet.”