What's it about?
Twins get lost from a shipwreck resulting in the sister disguising as a man, and getting mistaken for her brother as they both become involved in the messy love story.
Theatre For A New Audience is ten minutes away from my house. I’d always pass in awe, but looked away from due to the word SHAKESPEARE written boldly on it. I never liked Shakespeare. His way of speaking was hard to grasp in high school and reminded me of the Bible. Now I wish I would have read as many Shakespearean stories with eyes and ears wide open instead of dismissing them. I was inspired to get back into this world after recently finishing working on my school play at Baruch. Shockingly, I understood 97% of what was being talked about in this play.
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is about fraternal twins who are lost and separated from each other after a shipwreck. The sister, Viola, disguises herself as a man, Cesario, and she wins the heart of Countess Olivia (who thinks she is a man) by accident of trying to help her employer, Duke Orsino. To make things crazier, Olivia though disguised as a man has fallen in love with Duke Orsino who is trying to woo over Countess Olivia.
Now that I’m done making your head spin involuntarily, let’s get into some simple stuff.
This show was actually funny. The set was beautifully simple with a minimalistic style. Tiled white floors, wide white stairs, and high walls. In the center of the stage above the steps was a window-like view of the sea that was different shades of blues. At the left of the stage was an apartment-like building with a balcony that belonged to the countess. A small chair and table sat in front while on the other side sat a bench underneath tree vines on a more concealed balcony. The aesthetics were completed with peaceful sounds of the moving sea and birds chirping. I could hear the birds over a woman who would not stop talking in milliseconds before the show began, so it was a success.
I learned from this play just how cool Shakespeare is, and I also learned how back in those times, people confused infatuation with love. It’s super hilarious how one look upon someone’s face and of the “sweetness of thy tongue” will result in “I love you”. Maybe that added to the comedy effect of this play. Either way, it was successful at making me grin.
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