Twelfth Night 1993

Twelfth Night PosterBy William Shakespeare

Directed by: Joel Greenberg

Performances: November 24-27, 1993

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building

Shakespeare's greatest comedy was adapted for this production to focus on how we grow from being in love to gaining a further understanding of ourselves and our awareness of others. This is not a full length version.

Twelfth Night or, What You Will Synopsis

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare plays with the intersection of love and power. The Countess Olivia is presented to us at the play's beginning as an independent and powerful woman. The sudden deaths of her father and her brother have left her in charge of her own household and have thereby given her power over such male relatives as Sir Toby Belch. Her status as a wealthy, aristocratic single woman makes her the focus of male attention, and she is especially attractive to Duke (or Count) Orsino, who, as the play begins, is already pursuing her. They also circle about her two other suitors: the pretentious and socially ambitious steward, Malvolio, a man whose ambitions make him vulnerable to manipulation by members of Olivia's household: and the weak and foolish Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who is altogether ignore by Olivia but whose delusions of possible marriage to her make him an easy victim of the flattering and swindling Sir Toby. 

Onto this scene arrive the well-born twins Viola and Sebastian, and the love of power gives way to the power of ove. The twins have been shipwrecked; each thinks the other is drowned; both are destitiute. Without protection, Viola chooses to disguise herself as a page, call her Cesario, and enter the service of Orsino. In her role as the young Cesario, such is her beauty and her command of language that she immediately wins Orsino's trust; he enlists her as his envoy to his beloved Olivia - only to have Olivia fall desperately in love with the beautiful young messenger. Sebastian, too, although without either power or wealth, is simply irresistible. Antonio, for example, not only saves him from death in the sea but also risks his own life to remain in Sebastian's company.

As is usual in comedy, the play complicates these tangled relationships before it finally and wonderfully untangles them. The title of the play suggests that there is a certain urgency to the need for this disentangling. "Twelfth Night" is the twelfth night after Christmas, the last night of what used to be the extended period of celebration of the Christmas season. Thus it marks the boundary between the time for games and disguisings and the business of the workaday world. The second part of the title,"What You Will," suggests that this play gives us a world that we would all choose (or "will") to enjoy, if we but could." 

(From The New Folger Library's Twelfth Night, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine)

"Viola in Twelfth Night spends much of the play as a "man", but in the extreme position of having a male twin for her to be. Gender here is more volatile than ever. Volatility is, indeed, a characteristic of this strange, sad, pay, which contains the funniest scene Shakespeare wrote, the box-tree scene (2.5). The play's ingredients are the very stuff of European comedy: two fairyland courts made of fantasies of love, a singing melancholy fool, below-stairs frolics with a dim-witted gull and a drunken knight making a comic pair, a pert maid, a repressive steward, and above all the parted identical twins."

(From The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies, Edited by Stanley Wells, Chapter 7, Shakespeare and the traditions of comedy, David Daniell.) 


Malvolio - Jonathan Goad

Feste - Joel Harris

Orsino - Roger Lemke

Sir Andrew - Mark McGrinder

Viola - Mary Moore

Sebastian - Brian O’Grady

Olivia - Kimwun Perehinec

Sir Toby - Dylan Roberts

Maria - Penney Shore

Creative Team

Director – Joel Greenberg

Assistant Director – Anand Rajaram

Set/Costume Design – William Chesney

Lighting Designer – Al Anderson

Assistant Lighting Design – Terry Tremeer

Sound Design / Coordination -Tim Jackson

Production Team

Production Manager – Mike McDonald

Assistant Production Manager – Bruce Rorrison

Technical Director – David M. James

Stage Manager – Dan Kelley

Head Carpenter - Wayne Scotting

Head of Properties – Christy Morrow

Head of Wardrobe – Jocelyne Sobeski

Head Electrician – Kristen Burke

Lighting Board Operator – Stephanie McCarthy

Sound Operator – Justin Minns

Publicity – Lesley Coughlan Storm

Assistant Stage Managers – Richard Karhu, Luisa Lago

Assistant Carpenter – Paul Fromme

Set Painters – Alanna McLean, Mike MacDonald

Properties Assistant – David Clements

Wardrobe Assistant – Nancy Forde, Deborah Hebblethwaite, Megan Leef, Shannon Peters, Alyson Scadron Wattles

Special Thanks

Lucille Kelley

Stan Morrow

Sandra Morrow

Jim Nicholson