Dost thou knoweth William Shakespeare? If not and might hath an interest, taketh thine time to knoweth Shakespeare as the Department of Theatre and New Dance did its own rendition of his classic comedy, “Twelfth Night.”
The show played the evenings of Oct. 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27, as well as a matinee show on Oct 28 at the University Theater Main Stage, and gave audiences a rendition of Shakespeare’s famous love-triangle comedies.
It is a story of twins Viola and Sebastian who were separated after being shipwrecked on the coast of the region of Illyria. Viola disguises herself as a boy named Cesario and works for Duke Orsino – the Duke of Illyria, whom Viola falls in love with.
Cesario is a messenger to help Orsino – who is in love with the countess named Olivia – profess his continuing love for Olivia, who has no interest, but Olivia ends up falling in love with the messenger.
Actors and actresses from the 13-member cast show, directed by Linda Bisesti-Reidy, included Adriana Flores, Emma Haines, Renee Turner, Brandon Sy and Jesse Alvarado.
“Sometimes the directors — they’ll call alumni guests from outside of the school to fill certain parts in. They had somebody drop out and they needed someone to fill in so I got a call from the director [Bisesti-Reidy] and I said yes; I enjoyed being a part of this,” said Flores, a class of 2014 theater alumna, who played Valentine.
Valentine was one of the audience members for Duke Orsino.
“We had a really great crowd and having a really good crowd makes it really easy to perform and it makes it less stressful,” said Haines, a third-year theater major, who portrayed Olivia. “When the audience interacts with you it makes just you just feel more comfortable and I thought that was really nice.”
Olivia was the countess who Duke Orsino was trying to pursue.
“The show was wonderful tonight, the audience was great and we had a lot of reactions as well so it was like a really fun time,” said Turner, a second-year theater major who played Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
Sir Aguecheek was a friend of Sir Toby and was a rival to Viola.
“The audience was great and we got some laughs and even unexpected laughs which was awesome,” said Sy, a fourth-year theater major who played Sea Captain/Fabian.
Sea Captain was a friend who helped Viola, and Fabian was a servant to Olivia.
“We’re like a family so it was really just to be on stage with all of them and to able to act with my friends; it was great and tonight was amazing and a great crowd,” said Alvarado, a fifth-year theater major who played Feste.
Feste was Olivia’s fool/jester.
The comedy did indeed feature moments in the theater that gave the audience members the laughs that the original play was intended to, along with some more modern takes covered by the university theater team.
The Shakespearean, early modern English was common throughout the play which helped grasp the spirit of the original play during that time period, yet might confuse some people trying to understand the story.
First-year students Denise Ramirez, Brandon Nguyenbui and David Mejia were audience members of the play.
“It was very entertaining and interesting; the way that the actors were performing was really amazing you would have thought they were professionals in a real entertainment area,” said Ramirez, a first-year hospitality major.
“I know a little bit of Shakespearean language and it kind of made it somewhat more graspable, but overall the whole thing was really entertaining,” said Mejia, a first-year chemistry major. “You could feel the actors putting so much into it.”
“Twelfth Night” was one of Bisesti-Reidy’s favorite Shakespeare comedies and she chose to direct it for the cast and the theater department.
The department generally does one Shakespeare play per school year.
The cast members of the show stated that Bisesti-Reidy is a supportive director both personally and academically.
The cast members also stated the themes present in the Shakespeare play, “Twelfth Night.”
“A big theme about this is coming home and also the theme of survival as well,” Turner said.
“The craziness, the crazy wild thing of falling in love and just where your emotions lead you to; it’s a big theme too in the play,” Flores said.
For more information on upcoming shows, visit the Department of Theatre and New Dance, as well as its website.
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