A shipwreck, a cross-dressing young woman, mistaken identities and mis-matched lovers – that’s just the start of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, playing at Sacramento State’s Playwrights’ Theatre Nov. 12-15 and 18-22.
Directed by Professor Michelle Felten, the Sac State staging boasts 15 actors, including Professor Richard Bay as the sea captain. Bay is also responsible for the Old Globe inspired set design.
The plot can get a little complicated. Twins Viola and Sebastian are separated when their ship capsizes. Viola washes ashore, disguises herself as a boy/servant named Cessario and takes a position with Duke Orsino’s court. Meanwhile, Lady Olivia is courted by the duke and a few more, but only has eyes for Cesario/Viola. There’s also a plot to embarrass Malvolio, Olivia’s steward, and when Sebastian returns on the scene he’s mistaken for Viola-as-Cessario.
Twelfth Night lends itself well to the more intimate Playwrights’ Theatre, Felten says, since there are usually just two or four characters engaged at any one time. “This is my favorite kind of space to work in, as it brings the audience right into the action of the play.”
Felten says she enjoys the play because, while it is a comedy, there’s so much more than humor involved in the story. “Yes, there is foolishness, gender confusion and mistaken identity,” she says. “But there is also beautiful music, romance and moments of genuine pathos.”
Performances are at 8 p.m., Nov. 12-14 and 20-21; 2 p.m., Nov. 15 and 22; and 6:30 p.m., Nov. 18-19. Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performances are $8 general admission and $5 for children under 12. All other performances are $12 general admission, $10 for students and seniors and $8 for children.
For more information, visit www.csus.edu/dram or call (916) 278-3569. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.