Shipwrecked Twins Take the Engelstad Stage in Twelfth Night

Published: September 26, 2016 | Author: Lola Taylor | Read Time: 3 minutes

Shipwrecked Twins Take the Engelstad Stage in Twelfth NightSUU College of Performing and Visual Arts’ Theatre Arts & Dance Department will present William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night on September 29, 30, October 1, 3, 7, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre.

While many are familiar with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the show’s director and Professor of Theatre Arts at SUU, Richard Bugg, wanted to give it a little flair, setting the story in the Caribbean islands. When asked why, Bugg said, “Our production of Twelfth Night is a celebration of life and love. I spent a short time living on a Caribbean island and I fondly remember the relaxed love for life that the people had. Life’s trials were just as prevalent for them as everyone else, but those trials didn’t stop them from taking joy in their surroundings and the people that they love.”

Since Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most musical scripts, Trent Dahlin, a student at SUU, came on board to compose the Caribbean-inspired music for Twelfth Night. Alec TerBerg, who plays Feste in the production, said, “When I got cast as Feste I was really hoping to find someone to bring Shakespeare’s lyrics to life through Rick’s Caribbean concept. When I found out that Trent Dahlin was writing the music I was able to have a deep sigh of relief. Trent’s music takes this play and ties it up in a big beautiful bow. He was able to take the sounds and style of this time period and location and give it his own sound.”

When asked about being cast as Viola, Lauren Paige Hoover said, “The gift I was given of being cast was once in a lifetime. Not only is Viola a dream role and inspiration to me, but playing her has been the most challenging and rewarding experience I’ve had at SUU. This show is a treat and should be experienced by all people. Rick Bugg is a talented director and so is the rest of the cast.”

Maree Williams, the assistant director for Twelfth Night, said, “Together we’ve discovered an exciting story within the play. As the music lifts the audience and our characters tell their story, our Caribbean Twelfth Night inspires a different life than we have right here. We hope to share all our joy with you, as it has been a fun and rewarding experience for us.”

Twelfth Night is a story of twins, Viola and Sebastian, who are separated during a terrible storm that shipwrecks their vessel. Fearing her brother has been lost at sea, Viola dresses as a man and takes on Sebastian’s identity so she may earn a living for herself. A comedy of errors ensues as Viola, dressed as Sebastian, finds herself the unwilling messenger of her master Duke Orsino’s proclamations of love to the widow Olivia. Unfortunately, Viola has fallen in love with Orsino, but must maintain her role as the dutiful manservant. To make matters worse, Olivia takes a fancy to Viola as Sebastian and refuses Orsino’s suit.

Henry Ballesteros, who plays Sir Toby Belch, said, “I feel like our Twelfth Night has a lot more hope than other versions you will see. You’ll have a good time, you’ll laugh, and really enjoy the hard work that everyone has put into our production.” Come to the show and see how it unravels for yourself!

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