With a vaudeville twist, Centre College’s DramaCentre presents Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and directed by Jennifer Goff, assistant professor of dramatic arts, April 18-21 at 8 p.m. at Weisiger Theatre in the Norton Center for the Arts.
Starting on the shores of the fictional kingdom of Illyria, the comedy centers on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as a boy) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with the Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her, thinking she is a man.
Goff remarks that the play is so much more than one of Shakespeare’s comedies.
“Twelfth Night is a comedy, but it isn’t only that,” she explains. “It’s a musical performance. It’s a love story; several love stories, as a matter of fact. And it’s also a story about a few characters who don’t get their happily ever afters.”
When speaking about her choice to set the play during the early twentieth century when vaudeville was at its height, Goff explained that the island setting and themes evoked vaudeville music.
“Twelfth Night being Shakespeare’s most musical play, I naturally looked to the music for my foundation,” she said. “The ukulele was at its most popular in the early twentieth century during the height of vaudeville. As I imagined Feste, the fool, floating freely from island to island, I could hear the sound of the ukulele, and that brought the world of our production to light.”
She hopes that the audience will appreciate this music and the humor that comes with the vaudeville-inspired performance.
Tickets will be available at the door before each performance and are free for faculty, staff and students. Admission cost is $10 for the general public and $5 for senior citizens and students from other schools.
IF YOU GO
By Kathleen Murphy ’18
April 18, 2018