LES Shakespeare Company's TWELFTH NIGHT Opens 4/12

By: Mar. 19, 2015

LES Shakespeare Company will present Twelfth Night at various well known Lower East Side bar/performance spaces on Sundays and Mondays from April 12th thru May 11th. Melody Erfani directs. The cast features Peter Collier, Gina Doherty, Mike Maloney, Peter Marciano, Sarah Miles, Kathleen O'Neal and Ben Sheedy.

One of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, Twelfth Night is part of LES Shakespeare's F*ckin Up Shakespeare Series where an intoxicated actor and seven classically trained professionals stumble through a Shakespearean play with hilarity and audience involvement. With a genuinely drunken actor to be selected randomly at every performance, no two shows are ever the same. Uncensored, explicit and frequently out of control, this is Shakespeare as the Bard himself would recognize it...probably.

Twelfth Night is the story of identical twins, Viola and Sebastian, who are separated when their ship capsizes and believe the other to be drowned. Finding herself washed up on the shore of Illyira, Viola, assumes the name of Cersario and disguises herself as a man to take a position as an aide to Duke Orsino. Orsino then uses Cesario as an intermediary to profess his love to Olivia, a beautiful aristocrat who has declined all suitors in deference to her recently departed father and brother. However, Olivia finds herself falling in love with Cesario, while Viola is secretly in love with Orsino. More mishaps follow in this quintessential Shakespearean romp.

LES Shakespeare is committed to reaching out to the Lower East Side community and bringing this diverse group together to enjoy an innovative approach to the works of Shakespeare while expanding their appreciation of classical texts performed at Lower East Side venues and cultural centers. Promoting accessibility to Shakespeare for all ages, LES SHAKES future plans include workshops at schools, Shakespearean acting classes and providing free shows for the community. Proceeds from this inaugural production of Twelfth Night will fund their upcoming production of Romeo & Juliet (where music and movement is intertwined with the story) with free performances at the East River Park Amphitheatre from June 26 thru July 24.

LES Shakespeare was founded by six MFA graduates of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Artistic director and founding member Melody Erfani has an MFA in directing and was a participant of the 2013 Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Prior to that she was awarded an internship with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Some of her credits include 97 Orchard Street (creator/director with 5D Productions), All an Act (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Othello (The Looking Glass Forum) and Raised in Captivity (ASDS Repertory).

Twelfth Night opens 7:30PM on Sunday April 12th at Poco (33 Avenue B at 3rd Street) with a performance following on Sunday April 19th at Parkside Lounge (317 E. Houston Street). After that shows are Sundays and Mondays on April 26 & 27 at Cakeshop (152 Ludlow St. between Stanton and Rivington), May 3 & 4 at Treehouse Theatre (154 W. 29th St. between 6th and 7th Avenues) and May 10 & 11 at Lucky Jack's (129 Orchard St. between Rivington and Delancy). Shows times are Sundays at 7:30PM and Mondays at 8:30PM. Running time is 75 minutes. Tickets are $25 and include two drinks of choice. For tickets go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/966235 or call (800) 838-3006. Ticket links to all performances are also at https://lesshakespeareco.squarespace.com/tickets/. For further information go to www.lesshakespeareco.org.