American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
A charming young woman proves to be equally charming disguised as a young man, throwing Illyria’s collective love life into wild disarray. Not that the denizens of that town were well-arrayed to begin with. In fact, on an island where everyone’s in love with someone, but no one’s in love with the someone who loves them back, Viola may be just the soul to set them all aright. As Shakespearean comedies go, this is one of the greats; a fun and funny celebration that embraces the insanity of love.
Runs June 8 – October 6. Opening night June 15.
Shakespeare revisits some of his favorite themes – twins, misplaced love and plenty of mistaken identity – in Twelfth Night. Mourning the loss of her brother, the lovely Olivia has vowed not to accept any suitors, much to the dismay of Duke Orsino, who is intent on wooing her. So intent that he enlists a castaway named Cesario to help him out. Cesario is, in fact, a young woman named Viola who has recently lost her twin brother in an accident at sea. Disguised as a young boy, she agrees to help Orsino win Olivia despite the fact that she herself has fallen for him. And despite her vow to remain alone, Olivia quickly develops some strong feelings of her own…for Cesario. Combine that with a subplot that finds the prim Malvolio (who is, surprise! In love with Olivia) locked in a basement by a group of tipsy fools, and you’ve got the makings of a great Shakespearean comedy.
Strobe lights will be used during this production.
For those of you who relish poetry, there may be no better play in
the English language than the one you are about to see. I admit to
my bias, as I heard a few lines of this play spoken by an actor years
ago that were revelatory in my understanding of the power of poetry.
I have committed them to memory, and hold them close. Such is the
gift of the theatre. When a play makes an invitation to the deepest
part of you, and if your spirit is willing, you will be given a gift that
you may remember for a lifetime. It may be a moment of stagecraft,
a stunning performance by an actor or an accident of the evening,
embraced by all, that can never be repeated.
Theatre is at its best when all of these ingredients come together to
reflect back to us the wonder of ourselves. Twelfth Night holds within
its deft structure and glorious poetry an adventure about loss, grief
and the healing power of love—a love that, it seems, can only be
earned through a certain fire of madness. Tonight we invite you on a
journey, up the Hill, through Illyria and into your spirit. We hope to
give you a wonderful adventure, and a moment or two that you will
remember for a lifetime.
About the Title:
Twelfth Night's full title is Twelfth Night or What You Will. Starting with the first part, Twelfth Night, and keeping in mind that Shakespeare scholars are rarely 100% in agreement, most believe it refers to the Feast of Epiphany, traditionally held on January 6 - 12 days after Christmas. In Shakespeare's time, this celebration was a festival of chaos (much like Illyria), where servants may have dressed up as masters, and men as women, and vice versa. Which leads us to the What You Will portion of the title, which could also refer to the celebration, or could just mean that the play means whatever you as an audience make of it.