The Department of Theatre will present Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night, October 25-November 4 in the Black Box Theater in Robinson Hall. The production is directed by Robinson Distinguished Professor of Shakespeare Andrew Hartley.
Disguise and deception are at the center of Twelfth Night’s plot, in which Viola, separated in a shipwreck from her twin brother, Sebastian, disguises herself as a man and begins working for Duke Orsino, who is in love with Olivia. Soon, the three characters are entangled in a love triangle that is only resolved when Sebastian, originally presumed dead, appears.
Although the play is more than 400 years old, Hartley sees plenty in it that is relevant today, and places the action in contemporary New Orleans, with a live jazz combo of UNC Charlotte music students led by jazz pianist and adjunct professor Noel Freidline.
“Shakespeare wrote in a time when the sexes were treated radically differently,” said Hartley. “A play like Twelfth Night seems to view gender—or at least traditional gender roles—as a barrier to human relationships, something to be demystified—even deconstructed—if any kind of real intimacy is to be achieved. In key moments along the way, Viola argues that women—rather than being merely fetishized objects of male devotion—are, to put it simply, people. It is part of the reason that we are staging this play over four centuries after it was written, that the idea still seems – to some – novel, even controversial.”
Performances are at 7:30 pm October 25-27 and October 31-November 3 and at 2:00 pm on October 28 and November 4. Tickets are $18 for general admission; $12 for UNC Charlotte faculty, staff, and alumni; $10 for seniors and veterans; and $8 for all students. On November 3, Shakespeare scholar Peter Holland of Notre Dame University will give a pre-performance lecture, “Forgiving and Forgetting, Shakespeare and Power.”