The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0628 Tuesday, 1 April 2003
Date: Monday, 31 Mar 2003 22:55:07 -0800
Subject: A HS production of Twelfth Night
My daughter stage-managed a San Francisco high school production of
Twelfth Night last week, and parental pride notwithstanding, I found it
very satisfying. The costumes were Renaissance, give or take a couple
hundred years (Malvolio's looked left over from last year's The
Crucible), and the sets were a modular set of columns, steps, and boxes
that the large tech crew changed around after every scene. Feste was a
cap-and-bells jester with an entourage comprising a guitar player and
two females, an acrobat and a juggler who got a couple of his lines.
The text was cut modestly to a running time of about 2-1/2 hours. The
Viola was a terrific comedienne named Scirocco Dunlap; I expect to see
her memorable name in reviews to come. What was particularly satisfying
was that three-quarters of the young cast totally enjoyed doing
Shakespeare. While Twelfth Night is not Hamlet or Lear, the complexity
in the story and dialogue could easily be killed by kids who didn't
care. These kids did care. Shakespeare lives.
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