Livestreamed performances of Hope College Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 9, at 6 p.m. will make the event available to audiences around the world as well as locally.
The production is being staged outside with adjustments for attendance out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. There will be four other performances in addition to the two livestreamed productions, but seating is limited and in-person attendance for all six performances will be only for Hope students, faculty and staff.
The presentations are free, but advance registration is required at hope.edu/tickets. Registration is available online only, and not via phone or at the ticket office. The livestreaming address will be provided to those who have registered to watch the event online.
In addition to the performances on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 6 p.m., the department will present the play on Friday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 4, at 1 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m.; and on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. A current Hope email address will be required to register (also at hope.edu/tickets) to attend any of the six performances in person.
All performances will take place near the theatre entrance at the front of the DeWitt Student and Cultural Center. In-person audience members will be required to wear masks and sit at least six feet apart. With seating on the lawn, those attending are invited to bring blankets or low-backed lawn chairs for their comfort.
Directed by Daina Robins, professor of theatre at Hope, “Twelfth Night” humorously explores the complexities, contradictions and confusions of love. The story is set after twins Sebastian and Viola are shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria, home of the Duke Orsino and Countess Olivia. The characters grapple with issues of identity and attraction and find themselves embroiled in various love triangles. “‘Twelfth Night’ is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies,” Robins said. “In our rehearsals, we are having great fun discovering the strengths and foibles of these delicious characters in the midst of our gender-fluid production.”
“Twelfth Night” was first performed on Feb. 2, 1602, in London, England, and has been produced by many over the course of the more than 400 years that have followed. The title, “Twelfth” Night, refers to the 12th evening after Christmas Day, the formal end to the holiday season and historically filled with revelry and merry celebration.
In addition to Robins, the college’s production team includes Michelle Bombe, professor of theatre and department chair, as costume designer; Ken Chamberlain, assistant director of production for dance and theatre, as sound designer; Eric Van Tassell, assistant professor of theatre, as lighting designer; and staff members Stephen Krebs and Darlene Veenstra as technical director and costume shop manager, respectively. Also serving on the production team are junior Valerie Dien of Fountain Valley, California, as stage manager; and sophomore Annika Dekker of Grand Rapids and freshman Brianna Tomczak of Dexter as assistant stage managers.
The cast includes freshman Abigail Doonan of Kalamazoo; sophomore Emily Dykhouse of Holland; junior Lisbeth Franzon of Whitehall; freshman Liliana Fraser-Shade of Grafton, Wisconsin; junior Emi Herman of Waukegan, Illinois; senior Mackenzie Hester of South Bend, Indiana; junior Samuel Joachim of Dearborn; freshman Emily Mann of Norton Shores; senior Madison Meeron of Oxford; junior Sofia Munoz of Chicago; junior Leslie Olivarez of Chicago; junior Ellyn Purnell of Zeeland; sophomore Jack Slevin of Glen Ellyn, Illinois; and senior Riley Wilson of North Canton, Ohio.