Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

The Hampden-Sydney College Department of Fine Arts spring production, William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, opens on Friday, February 20.

Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare's best loved comedies, about confused identities, sexes, and classes has been delighting audiences since its first performances in London in 1602.  Amazingly, 407 years later the intrigues, shenanigans, and feelings of the beautifully written characters still ring true.

The play centers on Viola, who at the start of the action has been separated from her twin brother, Sebastian, in a shipwreck.  She finds herself on the island of Illyria, dresses up as a man, and serves Duke Orsino as his emissary of love to capture the heart of beautiful Countess Olivia.  Unfortunately, Viola herself falls in love with Orsino while Olivia falls for Viola in disguise.  Realizing the pickle she's in Viola opines, "O, time, thou must untangle this, not I.  It is too hard a knot for me to untie."  With the arrival of Sebastian all is set to rights, but not before a great deal more of the action is thrown into confusion. 

Much of this play is about adaptability, flux, and transition, so director Shirley Kagan has set this production at the close of the Edwardian era, still well mannered and restrained but on the verge of breaking out into the rollicking roaring 20's. 

The cast and crew of this production come from a variety of background including students, staff, and faculty from Hampden-Sydney College and Longwood University.  The set design is by Brad Stoller, who brings his expertise to his ninth set in Johns Auditorium.  Lighting design is by H-SC sophomore, Patrick Crandol.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21, and Friday and Saturday, February 27 and 28, at 8 PM in Johns Auditorium.  All performances are free and open to the public.  For reservations or information, call (434) 223-6266.