Impact Theatre Presents TWELFTH NIGHT, Runs 5/6-6/12

Impact Theatre concludes its take-no-prisoners 2009-10 14th season with its production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, directed by Impact Artistic Director Melissa Hillman. Twelfth Night opens May 8, 2010 and plays Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm until June 12, 2010 (with previews May 6 and 7) at Impact's home, La Val's Subterranean in Berkeley.

Following last year's 1980s-themed critical and audience megahit A Midsummer Night's Dream, Impact now sets its sights on present-day Tinseltown for another beloved comedy, Twelfth Night. That's right -- Impact's going Hollywood! In Impact's version of Shakespeare's romantic romp of mistaken identity, a film legend pursues a bereaved starlet, entourages get drunk'd and Punk'd, and someone fresh off the boat -- literally -- makes a big splash in the business.

Known primarily for championing new plays and emerging playwrights, Impact ("Best Small Theatre Company 2008" -- East Bay Express) has also gained a solid reputation for bold, contemporary stagings of Shakespeare's works. Among the many critical plaudits:
• The East Bay Express named Midsummer a "critic's choice": "The ‘80s theme works divinely... Clever, trendy, and funny without sacrificing too much of the source material or underestimating the audience's intelligence."

• The Oakland Tribune praised the company's Measure for Measure, saying, "Impact ratchets up vice, vitality...the three central performances in Hillman's production are rock-solid."

• The San Francisco Chronicle said of Othello, "Hillman gives the play the full Impact treatment...confrontational close quarters with loud music, calisthenics, a dash of nudity and splatters of blood."

• The Oakland Tribune called Henry IV: The Impact Remix "action-movie Shakespeare, and it works."

• The Daily Californian included Hamlet in its "Top Ten Plays of 2006"

This is appointment Shakespeare. Tickets for Twelfth Night start at $10, and there are two pay-what-you-wish preview performances. Tickets are available online at

Since 1996 Impact Theatre has spoken to a new generation of theatregoers and enthusiasts alike who want to see something fresh and bold on stage. Impact's audience ranges from students to professionals to seniors, all of whom share a taste for exciting, unpretentious theatre that doesn't conform to stale assumptions of what constitutes high culture. Impact's primary mission is to directly contribute to the future of American theatre through focusing on new plays by emerging playwrights. Impact has produced 18 full-length world premieres, including 13 by local playwrights, as well as dozens of world-premiere ten-minute plays by burgeoning writers nationwide in the Impact Briefs series. Impact also prides itself on its fast-paced, vital, contemporary spins on classic drama. Impact shows compel, provoke, and inspire, at prices everyone can afford. And nowhere else in the Bay Area can you eat pizza and drink beer while you're watching a play. The East Bay Express named Impact "Best Small Theatre Company" in its 2008 Best of the East Bay issue and always includes Impact shows in its year-end top-ten lists.

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