Buy Tickets From the 2011-2012 Season: Twelfth Night Playing July 05, 2012 to July 29, 2012

Veronika Duerr, Jeff McKerley

A shipwreck, separated identical twins, mistaken identities, romance and one pair of yellow stockings…welcome to Orsino’s court and the zany world of Twelfth Night.

A part of The Shakespeare Evolution Series!

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday July 15 after the show!

Read the Plot Synopsis

Viola “of Messaline”, wrecked on the Illyrian shore and believing wrongly that her twin brother Sebastian has been drowned becomes (in the male disguise of Cesario) a page to Orsino, the Duke. She bears his reiterated and scorned love message to the young countess Olivia, who is mourning affectedly for a dead brother. Olivia falls in love with Viola/Cesario. Meanwhile (Act II) Olivia’s parasitic uncle Sir Toby, her gullible suitor Sir Andrew, encouraged by Toby, her gentle woman Maria, her “allowed fool” Feste, and Fabian, also in her service, join to trick Malvolio, her somber, haughty and puritanical steward, an enemy of them all. “Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?” Toby asks him.  Presently, told by a forged letter (ostensibly Olivia’s, actually Maria’s) that Olivia is infatuated with him, Malvolio takes to himself the phrase: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.”

Obeying the false command to appear before his mistress smiling and in absurdly cross-gartered yellow stockings (“a fashion she detests”, “a colour she abhors”), Malvolio is carried off (Act III) to a dark cell as a presumed madman. Sebastian, whom we have realized by now was saved (believing his sister lost), has reached the town with his rescuer Antonio, a piratical captain who had once fought against Orsino’s ships. The plotters have persuaded Andrew, jealous of Olivia’s obvious love for Cesario, to challenge the page to a duel; while this is being scrambled though, Antonio arrives, mistakes Cesario for Sebastian, draw his sword to help, and is arrested by the Dukes’ officers.

Soon afterwards (Act IV), Toby, believing Sebastian to be Cesario, attacks him and is sternly rebuked by Olivia. Also mistaken, she begs the young man to go with her; he does so, pleasantly bewildered, and in a brief later scene she urges marriage (“Plight me the full assurance of your faith”) and they follow a priest to the chantry. Finally (Act V), confusions are resolved: the twins recognize each other; Viola, herself again, will be Orsino’s Duchess, his “fancy’s queen”; Toby weds Maria; Malvolio, released, swears revenge of “the whole pack of you”; and the comedy fades in Feste’s twilit song.

-from The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J.C. Trewin

Director's Notes

Directed by Drew Reeves

Show Information


Act One - 70 min / Act Two - 70 min

Show Roles

July 5-29, 2012

Viola - Veronika Duerr*
Olivia - Mary Russell
Orsino - Andrew Houchins*
Feste - J.C. Long*
Malvolio - Jeff McKerley*
Sir Toby Belch - Nicholas Faircloth
Sir Andrew Aguecheek - Matt Nitchie
Maria - Kati Grace Morton
Curio - Daniel Parvis
Valentine - Stephen Hanthorn
Captain - Vinnie Mascola
Sailors - Jeff McKerley*, Brian Mayberry, Doug Graham
Antonio - Daniel Parvis
Sebastian - Doug Graham
Fabian - Brian Mayberry
1st Officer - Stephen Hanthorn
2nd Officer - Vinnie Mascola
Priest - Vinnie Mascola
Musicians - J.C. Long*, Matt Nitchie
Understudy for Priest, Captain, 2nd officer - Oge Agulue (July 19-22)

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Show Times
Shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (see below). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

A note about bawdiness in Shakespeare: It exists. Despite what your English teacher taught you, Shakespeare wrote some pretty saucy lines and they pop up from time to time. While there is never any nudity on stage, our actors are trained to make the text clear. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show. It won’t happen often. If this Bardometer lists a play as a 1 or 2, you can rest assured that it is an appropriate show for kids under ten.

Additional Information

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