Shakespeake’s Twelfth Night at Wilmer Park in Chestertown

July 5, 2013

Shore Shakespeare
June 5, 2013

Enjoy one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies in one of Chestertown’s loveliest riverside settings. Bring a friend! Bring ALL your friends! Bring a picnic! It’s funny, it’s romantic, it’s … Twelfth Night!

Shore Shakespeare, in association with Adkins Arboretum, is presenting encore performances of its acclaimed production of Twelfth Night on Fri Jul 26th and Sat Jul 27th at 6:00 pm. Both performances will be held outside in Wilmer Park along the banks of the beautiful Chester River in Chestertown, MD. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blanket or lawn chair.

Performances are free and open to the public. Donations in support Shore Shakespeare and its efforts to bring its productions to public venues across the Shore will be gratefully accepted.

Twelfth Night pits those who celebrate life, pleasure and love against the uptight sourpusses whose idea of fun is spoiling other people’s fun. The Bard also incorporates several of his favorite themes:

– Separation and reunification
– Disguise and mistaken identity
– A fool who is wiser than his masters
– Multiple, intertwining plots
– Lovers’ struggles against the odds; and
– Liberal use of all styles of comedy

In the kingdom of Illyria, Duke Orsino lies around pining away for the love of Lady Olivia. He cannot have her because she is in mourning for her dead brother and refuses to be courted. Meanwhile, following a terrible shipwreck, a young, high-born woman named Viola washes up on the Illyrian shore. Finding herself alone in a strange land, and assuming that her twin brother went down with the ship, she tries to figure out what to do. The sea captain who rescued her tells her about Orsino’s courtship of Olivia. Viola decides to disguise herself as a man, and gets a job in Orsino’s household. As luck and Cupid would have it, Viola falls in love with Orsino, who pines for Olivia, who falls in love with Viola’s male alter ego, Cesario. The stage is thus set for two hours of comedy.

In his program notes, Twelfth Night director Peter Howell says, “I am in awe of William Shakespeare, and relish the challenge of bringing his plays to life for 21st-century audiences who have been weaned on video games and smartphones … Besides, I’m a sucker for a chuckle and a happy ending.”

Twelfth Night stars Cecile Davis as Viola and Rick Hester as Feste, the subversively wise fool. Countess Olivia and Duke Orsino are portrayed by Avra Sullivan and Chris Rogers, respectively. Olivia’s household includes Maria (Juanita Wieczoreck), her savvy lady in waiting; Malvolio (Joseph Riley), her puritanical, social-climbing steward; and her uncle, Sir Toby Belch (Patrick Fee), a good-time charlie. Sir Toby’s drinking buddies include Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Howard Messick) and Fabian (Andrew Mimms). Sebastian and Antonio, respectively, are played by Tim Weigand and Cavin Moore. Charley Baker plays the Priest, and Jane and John Terebey round out the cast in assorted small roles.

Directions and more information may be obtained by visiting Proceeds benefit Shore Shakespeare.

This production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has been generously sponsored by NACON Consulting LLC of Annapolis and Whitehill Consulting LLC of Centreville.

Twelfth Night is the inaugural production of Shore Shakespeare, a new pan-community theatre group established to present the classic works of the theatrical repertoire and to encourage its audiences to support local community theatre all over the Shore.

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