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Blackfriars Theatre to Open 2017-18 Season with TWELFTH NIGHT

Blackfriars Theatre to Open 2017-18 Season with TWELFTH NIGHTBlackfriars Theatre leads the way into the 2017-2018 Theatre Season with a wild new take on Shakespeare's most charming comedy, Twelfth Night.

With an immersive theatrical experience, offering audience members a close encounter in a 1920s Speakeasy, this all-female production sports a live jazz trio, playing period standards throughout the show along with five original songs written specifically for Blackfriars' season opener!

A shipwreck on a strange shore leaves Viola with fears her twin brother is dead. She is forced to build a new life on her own. Masquerading as a man (in her brother's clothes) in order to procure a job with Duke Orsino, she finds herself in the midst of a topsy-turvy love triangle. Magic, mayhem and mistaken identities come to the stage in Shakespeare's cherished romantic comedy of revelry, reunion, and love.

"We are living in a time when people are questioning gender and identity and rebelling against society asking us to play only certain roles or behave in specific ways," says Director Alexa Scott-Flaherty. "So, it is time to break up the norms in the theater, and reflect the current make-up of the world in how our stage is peopled: women playing men, a black man playing George Washington, etc."

In a season focused on female artists, Blackfriars is kicking off their opening show with an all-female production of Shakespeare's most charming comedy! "In Shakespeare's time all the roles were played by men, and it seems only right to see the women play all the roles now," Scott-Flaherty continues. "It is time for us to see what women are capable of! I'd like my daughters to go to the theatre and think they can be anything--they can be funny, they can be powerful. I want them to know that all the parts are available to them, and not just on the stage, but in their lives."

The cast features the local talents of Kate Armstrong as Sir Andrew, Rory Cushman as Curio/Officer, Abby DeVuyst as Fabia, Micayla Greco as Feste, Alma Haddock as Valentine/Priest, Erin-Kate Howard as Oliva, Judy McCaffrey as Maria, Sara Michelle Penner as Viola, Jill Rittinger as Orsino, Stephanie Roosa as Antonio, M.J. Savastano as Sebastian, Linda Starkweather as Malvolio, and Beth Winslow as Sir Toby. The show is directed by Alexa Scott-Flaherty with original jazz music composed by Andy Pratt. A live jazz trio will accompany the production, made up of top area's top high school musicians.

Twelfth Night begins performances September 1 and runs through September 24, 2017. Performances run at Blackfriars Theatre, 795 E Main Street, Rochester, NY 14605

Tickets are available in person at Blackfriars Theatre, online at www.blackfriars.org, or by calling 585-454-1260. Senior and student discounts are available online or through the Box Office. If available, tickets can be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to performance. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover are accepted at no additional charge.

Blackfriars Theatre, a professional, not-for-profit theatre, is located at 795 East Main Street. Free parking is available on site. Handicapped seating is available. For more information regarding Blackfriars Theatre, visit www.blackfriars.org.

Pictured: Micayla Greco (left) and Alma Haddock (right). Photo by Dan Howell.

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