Concordia’s theater program put on a splendid performance of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” last week at Olde Glory Theatre in Seward, with a cast of 13 students.
“Twelfth Night” is a comedy written by Shakespeare of misunderstandings, mistaken identities, and painful love. “Twelfth Night” revolves around two shipwrecked twins who are both alive but believe that the other one drowned.
Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts Bryan Moore, producer of the show, put a creative spin by setting the production in the 1950s, even though the original play was set in the early 1500s. Being set in the 1950s, the characters were able to speak with American accents and use sets and props that the audience would be more familiar with, which provided clarity and understanding.
The characters wore ’50s style costumes, with the men wearing a variety of suits, and the women donning a collection of colorful dresses. The troupe was able to play around with textures and different outwear — such as shawls, jackets, and scarves — and the hats the characters wore gave a nod to the 1950s time period.
The sets were simple but effective at portraying different locations — in the park, two light poles took the stage, but in the homes of the characters, there was a radio on a table that played music.
The sets helped the Shakespearean language to be more effectively delivered. For instance, in one scene, a love interest and his companion were having a discussion, but it was difficult to understand because of the Shakespearean language. Because they were standing in the park it was easy to understand that when the love interest gestured to the surroundings, she was speaking about the trees and the wide area.
Moore said his favorite part of the play was “watching and listening to the audience respond to different moments in the show, and how the cast feeds off their energy.”
He said that the trek toward opening night was, “rewarding, entertaining, and worth the journey.”
Shakespeare wrote this play to be performed as a comedy, and the troupe did this flawlessly. Every student stepped into their character successfully, and the delivery of lines was timed very well.
The cast was very prepared and the actors interacted effectively with one another.
“It’s up to the actors to show the product of all our preparation on the stage, and I hope the audience follows along with and enjoys the performance,” Moore said.
Senior Haley Compton said that her favorite part of being in “Twelfth Night” was the “tie between playing Feste, a chaotic and extremely fun character to bring to life, and getting the opportunity to work with an amazing cast.”
Compton has been in five theatre productions at Concordia, including two one-act festivals.
“Twelfth Night” was a success, with a full house for each of the three shows. The spring production will be announced next semester.