PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at the Paul Green Theatre March 1-19. The production is directed by Jerry Ruiz, Associate Artistic Director at PlayMakers, in his directorial debut with the company.
Inspired by the photographic works of Slim Aarons, Jerry Ruiz’s conception of “Twelfth Night” will transport audiences to a mid-20th century Illyria where jet-setting socialites encounter mistaken identities and gender masquerades, ensuring that no one really knows who they are, or what they want. A shipwrecked Viola disguises herself as Cesario, a page in the service of Duke Orsino. Viola loves Orsino, but Orsino loves Lady Olivia, who in turn falls for “Cesario” when “he” is sent by the Duke to court her. Turning this comic love triangle even further on its side is the reappearance of Viola’s twin brother Sebastian, presumed dead after the shipwreck. Add in a fool named Feste and a drunkard named Belch for a fast-paced feast for the senses.
“I am excited to direct my first production at PlayMakers, and for it to be ‘Twelfth Night,’ one of Shakespeare’s most perfect comedies, is a dream,” said Jerry Ruiz, whose director credits span from New York to regional and university theatres. “I knew early on I wanted to create a magical and alluring world for our Illyria, one that was recognizable to us, but still exotic and glamorous.”
“Jerry is one of those savvy new voices that make theatre today both refreshed and more inclusive,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director. “Earlier this season, Jerry was also at the helm of our new Mobile Shakespeare program, which audiences embraced for bringing the Bard directly into Triangle area communities. ‘Twelfth Night’ patrons are in for a treat with his sexy, insightful take on Shakespeare.”
Making their PlayMakers acting debuts are: Bradford Cover as Sir Toby (credits include “The Bald Soprano” at The Pearl Theatre Company, and “Return of the Prodigal” at The Mint) and Michael Keyloun as Feste (credits include “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at Triad Stage and “Tartuffe” at La Jolla Playhouse).
Returning to perform are many PlayMakers company favorites: Ray Dooley as Malvolio (“The Crucible,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Peter and the Starcatcher”); David Adamson as Captain (“Trouble in Mind,” “An Enemy of the People”); Allison Altman as Viola/Cesario (“Intimate Apparel,” “Three Sisters”); Myles Bullock as Duke Orsino (“Intimate Apparel,” “Seminar”); Geoffrey Culbertson as Sir Andrew (“The Crucible”), Julia Gibson as Maria (“Into the Woods,” “The Tempest”); Jenny Latimer as Olivia (“The May Queen”),
Schuyler Mastain as Sebastian (“We are Proud to Present…,” “4000 Miles”), and Tristan Parks as Antonio (“The Crucible”).
The Creative Team of “Twelfth Night” includes: Jerry Ruiz (Director), Tim Mackabee (Scenic Designer), Anne Kennedy (Costume Designer), Porsche McGovern (Lighting Designer), Jack Herrick (Composer), Anna Warda Alex (Sound Designer), Adam Versenyi (Dramaturg), John Patrick (Voice Coach), Tracy Bersley (Movement Consultant), Hannah-Jean Farris (Stage Manager) and Charles Bayang (Assistant Stage Manager).
PlayMakers’ production is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
This play is recommended for audiences 12 and older.