Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night PosterBy William Shakespeare

Directed by: Joel Greenberg

Performances: November 14-17, 2001

Venue: Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building

Twelfth Night is our favourite of all Shakespeare's comedies and it is among our favourite three or four of the entire canon. We think the play was an ideal choice for students because it was about love and the complexities of that powerful word. And since students are between the ages of 18-23, discoveries about love and how we respond to emotions far more powerful than our intellect, struck us as entirely age-appropriate. Second, those of us beyond the student age range have plenty to feed upon in this play about what love means and how easily we work to make it a mirror for our personal needs. As with so much in Shakespeare, whether in the classroom or on the stage, the possibilities are limitless and the themes continue to resonate as we age and add to our experiences.

Our production was set in a land fairly overrun by time and neglect. We know that Olivia's father and brother have both recently died, we know that Orsino is pining for his love and we know that Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian, have been victims of a horrendous storm at sea. Everyone was in a state of chaos and disorientation. Until the couples are properly paired -i.e. until love becomes a genuine emotion rather than selfish whim - Nature cannot be calmed.

We also decided to set the play in the 1960's, but we didn't do a period send-up or a fashion portfolio of that era. Instead, we used a time that is known for its liberation of gender and sexual freedom and we hope that the specific references help to consolidate the play's themes. Every time a production of any Shakespeare's plays is re-set in time, the production is severely tested by the transposition. Our take on Twelfth Night was no different.

This Twelfth Night also included a fair amount of music. Since the play's opening line ("If music be the food of love, play on...) invited song, we interpolated eight songs from two different musical adaptations: Your Own Thing, a late 60's rock version of Twelfth Night, and an early 70's musical adaptation of The Two Gentleman of Verona.

Finally, with a cast of young actors playing all the roles, we decided to look at the play's optimism and vitality rather than its often-explored melancholy. So, our Feste was no older than anyone else was and he didn't reflect on the passage of youth. To the contrary, he set many of the play's event in motion, aided in large part by an invented character we called Spirit of Love.  The drunken Sir Toby Belch was played by a youthful lad who was more Olivia's cousin than her uncle. (Since he is referred to as both things in the text, we elected to use what served us best.)

Cast:

Spirit of Love - Mia Praught

Orsino - Matt Borch

Olivia - Jen Waescher

Viola - Megan Flynn

Feste - Andy Trithardt

Sir Toby Belch - Graham Williams

Maria - Erika Sedge

Sir Andrew - Aguecheek - Jeff Gagnon

Malvolio - Brad Goddard

Sebastian - Robbie Osborn

 

Artistic Team:

Director - Joel Greenberg

Set & Lighting Designer - Glenn Davidson

Costume Designer - Jocelyn Sobeski

Musical Director/Accompanists - Peter DeSouza & Jacqueline Sadler

Sound Designer/Assistant Technical Director - Fraser Smith

Dramaturgy - Drama 301 Class

Text Coach - Lloy Coutts

Fight Supervisor - Nick Davidson

Stage Manager - Chris Lee

Assistant Stage Managers - Jessica Bowman, Erin Neilson, Meghan Wiggin

Production Team:

Technical Director - Scott Spidell

Production Manager - Jenna Pollard

Assistant Production Manager - Meredith Kenzie

Carpentry Head - Matt Borch

Scenic Paint Head - Meredith Kenzie

Scenic Paint & Carps Crew - Darryl Gardner, Sarah Holmes, Cathleen McKague, Kathryn Pierroz, Amanda Rees

Lighting Head/Board Operator - Nick Cumming

Lighting Crew - Scott Banks, Shannon Cottrell, Brett Haynes, Jessica Jnes, Jill Skene, Wendy Guymer, Jennifer Cook

Wardrobe Head - Megan Flynn

Wardrobe Crew - Leigh McClymont, Stephanie McKay, Rana Salimi, Lesley Tumber

Props Head - Stephanie Coleman

Props Crew - Sean Collins, Alison Neal, Sarah O’Neill, John Trinh

Sound Operators - Jen Cook, John Roberts

Poster Designer - Yen Chu

Programme - Drama 301 Class

Publicity Head - Joyce Hahn

Publicity Assistant - Andrea Kerswill

Publicity Crew - Daniel Errey

Front of House Manager - Tame Eveland

Thank Yous:

The Bowman Family

Barb Brown & Eastwood Collegiate Institute

The Coleman Family

Jen Emery

Erika Hopman

JM Drama Alumni

The Kenzie Family

Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre

Natalie Mathieson

The Neilson Family

Paradox Theatre Company

Paramount Canada’s Wonderland - Entertainment Department

Princess Cinema

Registry Theatre

Jamie Rodriguez

St. Jerome’s University

Theatre & Company