The Drilling Company to Present TWELFTH NIGHT for the 29th Season of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

Performances, all free, will be July 25 to August 3, Thursdays to Saturdays at 7:00 PM.

By: Jul. 03, 2024
The Drilling Company to Present TWELFTH NIGHT for the 29th Season of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot
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The Drilling Company will present a two-week run of "Twelfth Night," directed by Hamilton Clancy, for the 29th season of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (SITPL). Free performances will be offered July 25 to August 3, Thursdays to Saturdays at 7:00 PM, in a new Lower East Side location: the parking lot adjoining 145 Stanton Street (entrance  on Rivington Street between Norfolk and Suffolk Streets).

 

The Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has been a Lower East Side neighborhood institution for almost three decades. Its concept--presenting Shakespeare plays with a "poor theater" aesthetic in a working parking lot--is now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with productions as far away as New Zealand. In 2023, a new Shakespeare in the Parking Lot emerged in Santa Rosa, CA.

 

The Drilling Company, founded by Hamilton Clancy, is comprised of an ensemble/rep company not unlike Shakespeare's company. Its members are veterans of the Off and Off-Off Broadway scene whose on-camera appearances commonly populate everything from streaming series to summer blockbusters. The cast of "Twelfth Night" includes Ivory Aquino as Olivia. She is known for portraying transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the 2017 miniseries "When We Rise." Her previous SITPL roles include Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet," Desdemona in "Othello," Mark Antony in "Julius Caesar" and Isabella in "Measure for Measure." Viola is played by Mary Linehan (“Much Ado About Nothing” in SITPL, “Hamlet” in Bryant Park Shakespeare). Malvolio is played by Emmanuel Elpenord (“Life of Pi” National tour). Toby Belch is played by Hamilton Clancy ("Orange is the New Black," "Billions"). Orsino is played by Patrick Hart ("The Winter's  Tale," "Comedy of Errors"). Newcomers appearing include newcomers Guido Gatmaythan as Sebastian , Liusaidh Hopper as Valentine, Kiara Ruth Luna as Fabian and Andy Rowell as Feste.

 

Songs  will be  composed by  Natalie  Smith, who previously scored  Drilling Company's productions  of  "As You Like It" (SITPL, 2016) and "The Tempest" (Bryant Park Shakespeare, 2017).  Her songs for these productions were produced into a musical album, "Then Sing him Home," which sets Shakespeare's classic words from these two plays into modern-day songs (available on Apple and Spotify).

 

ABOUT "TWELFTH NIGHT"

Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is a comedic tale of mistaken identities, love, and festive revelry. The story begins with Viola, who is shipwrecked and believes her twin brother, Sebastian, has drowned. Disguised as a man named Cesario, she enters the service of Duke Orsino, who is in love with Lady Olivia. However, Olivia falls for Cesario, unaware of Viola's true identity. Meanwhile, Viola harbors her own feelings for Orsino. The subplot involves Olivia's drunken uncle, Sir Toby, who schemes with others to humiliate the pompous steward, Malvolio. The confusion culminates in comic misunderstandings, leading to Sebastian's unexpected arrival. The play concludes with multiple marriages, the revelation of true identities, and a celebration of love and harmony.

 

Director Hamilton Clancy describes the play as not only the most joyous of Shakespeare's plays, but also the "most New York," meaning that its broad pastiche of characters reflects the panoply of loves and worlds you might encounter in the condensed space of this metropolis. Illyria, he says, is like the island of Manhattan, where visitors like Viola and Sebastian might get lost. So he decided to set the play on today's lower East Side. Integral to this idea is the fact that modern New York is replete with racial, ethnic and gender fluidity, inclusion and diversity, and this is reflected in the casting. Ivory Aquino, a transgender actress, plays Olivia. Emmanuel Elpenord, a Haitian-born actor, plays Malvolio, Olivia's pompous steward. Sir Andrew Aguecheek, traditionally played by a man, is played by Elizabeth Allen. Fabian, Olivia's servant who helps Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek execute their prank on Malvolio, is re-imagined as a young Filipino chef, played by Kiara Ruth Luna. Sebastian is played  by Filipino  actor Guido Gatamythan. Clancy adds, "The collision of classes in NYC and the frequent comedy that results is beautifully framed in 'Twelfth Night.' With a few twists, we find it's a perfect play for 2024."

 

A NEW LOCATION

In 2014, SITPL lost its parking lot location of 20 years when the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area gave way to a giant mixed-used development, so the attraction moved to the parking lot of The Clemente, on Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets. This summer, that location is under construction, so SITPL has been transplanted to temporary digs in the parking lot adjoining 145 Stanton Street (entrance  on Rivington Street between Norfolk and Suffolk Streets). It is a short walk from the municipal parking lot where the annual Free Shakespeare festival originated.

 

This would be the 30th season of SITPL, but the 2020 season was canceled due to the Covid-19 shutdown.

 

Hamilton Clancy (director) is founding Artistic Director of The Drilling Company and the most prolific director and producer of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. He has appeared in SITPL productions as Hamlet, Henry V, Julius Caesar, Petruchio and Benedick, among others. He’s been seen in film and television as Kowalski in "Orange is the New Black" (SAG Award Best Ensemble Seasons 2&3), Tom in "One Dollar" and Peck in the Coen Brothers' “Burn After Reading.” Other on-camera credits include "Blue Bloods," "Bull," "Billions," "Mindhunter" and "Gotham."

 

Admission is free. Chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and audience members are welcome to bring their own. Since the performance is outdoors, masks are not required but audience members may use their own discretion. For info on this and other upcoming Drilling Company productions call 212-873-9050 or visit www.drillingcompany.org.

 

Rainout notices for Shakespeare in the Parking Lot will be posted on www.drillingcompany.org.

 




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