In yet another well-acted performance by the West Chester University Theatre, the company performed an interesting adaptation of William Shakespeareʼs Twelfth Night. West Chesterʼs version of the centuries old comedy was set in the 1920s, with the set and performers dressed aptly. The play, directed by Leonard Kelly, runs from March 29 through April 9, in repertory with the University Theatreʼs other production Dimly Perceived Threats to the System. The company will be performing the two plays over a two week period. Twelfth Night, set in the kingdom of Illyria, is a classic Shakespearean love triangle, involving the principal characters of Count Orsino (Matthew Gagat), Viola, (Shelia Coyle), and Olivia (Anna Sadler.) The show begins with Count Orsino pining for the love of Olivia, who will not return his affections.
During this time, Viola, an intelligent and well-educated girl, becomes separated from her brother when their ship sinks and she becomesstranded. Viola, fearing that her brother is dead, dresses in his clothes and begins to work for Count Orsino. He sends her to preach his affections to the lady Olivia, but Viola begins to fall in love with him herself. To add yet another twist to the mix, Olivia begins to fall in love with Viola, who she takes to be a young man. The play is full of interesting characters and a series of unexpected plot twists. Adding to the comedic nature of the play was the drunken uncle of Viola, Sir Toby (Nate Black). His constant belching and slapping of his belly brought constant laughter to the audience. Also, Sir Andrew and Fabian, played by severe steward of Viola, was both believable and unique, and was the subject of an interesting side story of the play.
Also imperative to the realism and quality of the play was the excellent costuming, done by Gretchen Androsavich, who also created the fun, 20s-style hair for the performance.
Sketches of the costumes could be seen before and after the performance, and were very colorful and appropriate for the period. Though over three hours, Twelfth Night was funny, entertaining and skillfully acted. West Chester ʼs unique take on the Shakespearean play provided another solid performance.