February 14, 2024

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

Capital Brings Shakespearean Comedy to Life in Twelfth Night

Night 1
Night 2
Night 3
Night 4
Night 5
Night 6

“Twelfth Night,” a timeless comedy filled with mistaken identities, love triangles, and witty wordplay, is being brought to the stage at Capital’s Cabaret Theater. Running from Feb. 15-18, the production is directed by Sharon Croft, Ph.D., M.A., professor, communication.

“This is sort of a goofy rom com. It really does explore notions of love but also identity. With all of Shakespearean text, there’s multiple layers, but for the most part, it’s a happy rom com,” said Croft. “This is actually a capstone project for one of our senior theatre students. Jesse [Adair] is playing the role of Malvolio, and it’s one of his dream roles.”

Known as one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, “Twelfth Night” is set in the fictional kingdom of Illyria. The play follows the journey of Viola, who, when shipwrecked, believes her twin brother Sebastian is dead. She figures out how to save herself and disguises herself as a man. She navigates the complexities of love, becoming entangled in the romantic affairs of Duke Orsino, Lady Olivia, and a host of other characters.

Laura Wallace ’25, organizational communications and theatre studies, has been cast as Viola.

“This has been a really cool experience because it is a very different style of acting. With the Shakespeare language, it’s more difficult to understand not only what I’m saying, but also to portray to the audience so it’s understandable to them,” said Wallace. “[‘Twelfth Night’] is a lot funnier than what the audience may be anticipating. It is the Shakespeare style of comedy, but there’s still a lot of moments that will catch you by surprise.”

In addition to playing Antonia, Michelle Costell ’25, theatre studies and studio art, worked with costumes and choreographed the on-stage fight scenes.

“I’ve always been interested in theatre since a young age, because my parents raised me with musicals like ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Singing in the Rain.’ I knew I really wanted to do theatre at Capital,” said Costell. “I play Antonia, who is Sebastian’s best friend. I also worked with costumes and did the fight choreography. I haven’t done costumes in the past, but I’ve always liked the idea. I came up with some sketches, and pulling those together was really fun. For the fights, I’ve done some stage fights in the past, so taking my knowledge from that and applying it to this show has been pretty fun.”

The cast and crew, comprised of passionate and skilled Capital students, alumni, and local high school students, have worked tirelessly to bring the production to the stage. For one actor in particular, the decision to put on “Twelfth Night” was a second chance to be cast in his dream role.

“When I was in high school, we were doing this exact same show and I wanted a specific role. Basically, I can describe Malvolio as a Shakespearean Squidward. He has big dreams but the entire world craps on him,” said Jesse Adair ’24, theatre studies. “I just want the audience to have a good time – laugh, cry, or feel any emotion. That’s the whole point of going to a show. We entertainers have one goal in life, and that’s to entertain people.”

For more information about theatre at Capital, visit http://almijw.nicepharma.net/student-life/arts-and-culture/capital-theatre/.

For reservations, call the Cabaret Theater Box Office at 614-236-7174. Tickets are free for students, faculty, and staff with a current Capital ID; or $5 for students and seniors, and $7 for adults.