Illinois State University’s School of Theatre and Dance presents one of Shakespeare’s most-loved comedies Twelfth Night, or What You Will. A tale of love and mistaken identity infused with humor, Twelfth Night was originally created to celebrate the twelfth and final night of Christmas, a night where food and drink were abundant and revelry and mischief might have been afoot. That spirit is alive in this story, as protagonist Viola pines for the love of Duke Orsino, even as she dons a male disguise and woos another woman on his behalf.

Taking his inspiration from Parisian Bohemian life, M.F.A. director Nic McMinn hopes to better represent modern gender ideas, moving beyond binaries of male/female and embracing a fluid idea of gender as self-representation, not biological imperative. The Bohemian scene in Paris attempted to unshackle itself from modern conventions, ultimately seeking inspiration and happiness over pure productivity.

Many members of the Twelfth Night company are associated with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival (ISF), including director Nic McMinn; actors Parker Carbine, Jack Hradecky, and Asa Wallace; scenic charge artist Caroline Dischell; and stage manager Connor Kubil. ISF Artistic Director John C. Stark designed the scenery.

This production will be presented at the Center for the Performing Arts Theatre on the campus of Illinois State University at 7:30 p.m. on October 25, 26, 29, 30, and 31, and November 1 and 2, and at 2 p.m. October 27. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Center for the Performing Arts Box Office, over the phone at (309) 438-2535, and online through Ticketmaster. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, and $17 for adults. A special discount is available for alumni for the Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26, performances only.

One thought on “Shakespeare and Bohemia come together in Twelfth Night

  1. Sandy says:

    We saw this production last night. It was wonderful! Very funny, lively and colorful!