Upcoming Auditions at CCCT
by William ShakespeareAudition Dates: May 19th and 20th. Performances: July 18 – 28 Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm & Sundays at 2:30
This year’s Summer Shakespeare (in air-conditioning) will hold auditions for “Twelfth Night” at Clear Creek Community Theatre on May 19th and 20th. This summer’s production is directed by Erica Smith. Performance dates are pending in July and/or August.
Twelfth Night; or, What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected of the occasion, with plot elements drawn from the short story “Of Apollonius and Silla” by Barnabe Rich, based on a story by Matteo Bandello. The first recorded performance was on 2 February 1602, at Candlemas, the formal end of Christmastide in the year’s calendar. The play was not published until its inclusion in the 1623 First Folio.
Cast of Characters
- Viola – a castaway, later disguised as a young man called Cesario, in service to Orsino.
- Orsino – Duke of Illyria
- Olivia – a countess
- Sebastian – Viola’s lost twin brother.
- Malvolio – head servant in the household of Lady Olivia.
- Maria – Olivia’s serving-woman.
- Sir Toby Belch – Olivia’s cousin.
- Sir Andrew Aguecheek – a companion of Sir Toby.
- Feste – the clown, or court jester, of Olivia’s household.
- Fabian – a servant and friend to Sir Toby.
- Antonio- a captain and friend to Sebastian and Viola.
Illyria, the setting of Twelfth Night, is important to the play’s romantic atmosphere. Illyria was an ancient region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea covering parts of modern Albania, Croatia, and Montenegro, and the city state of Republic of Ragusa has been proposed as the setting. Illyria may have been suggested by the Roman comedy Menaechmi, the plot of which also involves twins who are mistaken for each other. Shakespeare himself mentioned it previously, in Henry VI Part II, noting its reputation for pirates. It has been noted that the play’s setting also has English characteristics such as Viola’s use of “Westward ho!”, a typical cry of 16th-century London boatmen, and also Antonio’s recommendation to Sebastian of “The Elephant” as where it is best to lodge in Illyria; The Elephant was a pub not far from the Globe Theatre.
Viola is shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria and she comes ashore with the help of a captain. She loses contact with her twin brother, Sebastian, whom she believes to be dead. Disguising herself as a young man under the name Cesario, she enters the service of Duke Orsino through the help of the sea captain who rescues her. Orsino has convinced himself that he is in love with Olivia, whose father and brother have recently died, and refuses to see any suitor until seven years have passed, the Duke included. Orsino then uses Cesario (Viola) as an intermediary to profess his passionate love before Olivia. Olivia however, believing Viola to be a man, falls in love with Cesario (Viola), while Viola has fallen in love with the Duke.
In the comic subplot, several characters conspire to make Olivia’s pompous steward, Malvolio, believe that his lady Olivia has fallen for him. It involves Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby Belch; another would-be suitor, a silly squire named Sir Andrew Aguecheek; her servants Maria and Fabian and her fool, Feste. Sir Toby and Sir Andrew engage themselves in drinking and revelry, thus disturbing the peace of their lady’s house until late into the night, prompting Malvolio to chastise them. Sir Toby famously retorts, “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” (Act II, Scene III) Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Maria are provoked to plan revenge on Malvolio. They convince Malvolio that Olivia is secretly in love with him by planting a love letter, written by Maria in Olivia’s hand, asking Malvolio to wear yellow stockings cross-gartered, to be rude to the rest of the servants, and to smile constantly in the presence of Olivia. Malvolio finds the letter and reacts in surprised delight. He starts acting out the contents of the letter to show Olivia his positive response. Olivia is shocked by the changes in Malvolio, who has seemingly lost his mind. She leaves him to the contrivances of his tormentors. Pretending that Malvolio is insane, they lock him up in a dark chamber. Feste visits him to mock his insanity, disguised as a priest, and as himself. At the end of the play Malvolio learns of their conspiracy and storms off promising revenge, but the Duke (Orsino) sends Fabian to pacify him.
Meanwhile, Sebastian (who had been rescued by a sea captain, Antonio) arrives on the scene, which adds confusion of mistaken identity. Mistaking Sebastain for Viola, Olivia asks him to marry her, and they are secretly married in a church. Finally, when Viola and Sebastian appear in the presence of both Olivia and the Duke, there is more wonder and confusion at their similarity. At this point Viola reveals she is a female and that Sebastian is her twin brother. The play ends in a declaration of marriage between the Orsino (Duke) and Viola, and it is learned that Sir Toby has married Maria
Brush up your Shakespeare and come play with us!