S&Co Presents TWELFTH NIGHT
Shakespeare & Company presents William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, directed by Company Artistic Director, Allyn Burrows. This classic showcases a rich, affecting, and deeply funny story of longing, love, and laughter which paints Shakespeare at his peak. Performances run from July 2 to August 4th in the Tina Packer Playhouse.
This production of Twelfth Night, or What You Will unfolds in a mutable landscape of yearning and surprises, set in a dance hall on a boardwalk by the seashore in 1959, said Director Allyn Burrows. Ours is a story of what arises from a shipwreck, the madness of love, and that shipwreck called love. Nothing is as it appears where people convene with a longing to connect, even the twins at the center of the action, who in this account are twins of the soul, of a different race. Expectations are tossed in the air and land like so many scattered shells on the shoreline, inviting and impermanent."
Helmed by Burrows who has previously acted in three different productions of Twelfth Night including the mainstage production at Shakespeare & Company in 1991, the cast features Shakespeare & Company veterans Martin Jason Asprey (Antonio/Sea Captain), Steven Barkhimer (Sir Toby Belch), Gregory Boover (Feste), Nigel Gore (Andrew Aguecheek), Deaon Giffin-Pressley (Sebastian), Cloteal L. Horne (Olivia), Ella Loudon (Viola), and Bella Merlin (Maria). The Company also welcomes two newcomers Miles Anderson (Malvolio), with stage appearances in London's West End and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Bryce Michael Wood (Duke Orsino), performing most recently with the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and the Goodspeed Opera House. The creative team includes Ariel Bock (Voice Coach), Susan Dibble (Movement Director), Cristina Todesco (Set Designer), Govane Lohbauer (Costume Designer), Deb Sullivan (Lighting Designer), Arshan Gailus (Sound Designer and Composer), and Gregory Boover (Music Director).
Allyn's decision to set this in 1959 really sparked my curiosity, said Boston-based set designer, Cristina Todesco. This was a time of transformation and discovery where popular culture began to question norms in society surrounding creativity, art, race and gender identity. So much storytelling is done through song in Twelfth Night and during this time period, popular music became a powerful voice for these questions. For this reason, we decided to set our play in a dancehall in 1959, where song and dance was both a refuge for celebration and immersion but also for exposure and confrontation. The Tina Packer Playhouse inherently possesses so much of what makes an iconic 20th century dancehall so interesting, architecture that facilitates people to see each other and be seen, where people can move easily through and sometimes disappear into crowds and decor.
"With our delightful music, costumes and dance on Cristina's evocative set, audiences will feel literally plunged into the world of the play," added Burrows.
Tickets for Twelfth Night are available online at shakespeare.org, or by calling Shakespeare & Company's box office at (413) 637-3353. The Tina Packer Playhouse is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox, Massachusetts. Twelfth Night is generously sponsored by Dr. Donald and Phoebe Giddon.
Additionally, Shakespeare & Company invites audiences to participate in a Free Pre-Show Talk on Tuesday, July 9th at 6:15pm as we provide insight into the plot and characters of the play to enhance your experience. Join Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and cast members for the Director's Panel on Saturday, July 20th at 11am for a discussion of the creative journey of bringing Twelfth Night to the stage. Adult tickets for the Director's Panel are $10 for adults and free for students. For tickets and more information visit shakespeare.org.
The Company's 2019 Summer Season also includes two outdoor Shakespeare productions, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and a special workshop production of Coriolanus; plus 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Finalist The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan, The Children by Tony nominee Lucy Kirkwood, The Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and Tony Award nominee, Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies.