Merriment, mischief, music mix in 'Twelfth Night'

six actorsA tangled web of love, trickery and jealousy fuel Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” which will open SUNY Oswego’s theatre season on Oct. 10.

“The play is a blend of romance, farce and traditional comedy, and explores the themes of love and desire in a multitude of combinations,” said director Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego. The Oswego production also includes original music by Julie Pretzat, professor and chair of music.

The plot opens with Viola (Sara Weiler) arriving at the court of the lovesick Count Orsino (Ryan Santiago) after surviving a shipwreck. Disguised as a man, Viola becomes the go-between for Count Orsino and the Countess Olivia (Allison Kleber). Meanwhile, Olivia’s outrageous uncle Sir Toby Belch (Nathaniel Angstrom) enlists his crony Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Michael Racioppa) as a suitor to Olivia, while Malvolio (Zach Levin) also maintains a secret passion for her. The conflict comes to a head as Sir Toby hatches a scheme to humiliate the outwardly puritanical Malvolio, enlisting the help of Olivia’s lady-in-waiting Maria (Kim Saunders). The plot is further complicated when Viola’s twin brother Sebastian (Charlie Smith) arrives on the scene, unbeknownst to Viola.

The cast also includes Daniel Williams as Feste, a clown in Olivia’s household; Nate Roy as Valentine and Jason Martin as Curio, both gentleman attendants to the Duke; Stephen Green as Fabian, Olivia’s servant; Scott Silver as Antonio, a sea captain and friend to Sebastian; Thomas Chadwick as the sea captain and priest; and Amanda Acobes and Jennifer Andrade as the Two Spirits.

“This play is one of the most musical of Shakespeare’s comedies and includes many references to music as well as the texts for three songs which are sung by the fool, Feste,” Cole said.

Cole asked Pretzat to research the era and its composers to create her own music. “Shakespeare has music in his lines that are inherent,” Pretzat said. “The text is so good that it makes the music easy to write.”

Sophomore music major Tim Lanigan will play piano for the production.

The crew includes scenic designer Joe Rial, costume designers Kitty Macey and Elias Gutierrez, lighting designer Johan Godwaldt, sound designer Steve Shull assisted by Bill Pastella, technical director Johan Godwaldt and costume shop supervisor Judy McCabe.

“Twelfth Night” will preview at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre, with all seats $5.

The production will have 8 p.m. curtains Oct. 10 to 13, with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee Oct. 14. Tickets for regular run cost $12 ($10 for seniors and children, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). 

For information or reservations, contact Tyler Box office 312-2141 or

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PHOTO CAPTION: Madcap merriment—The Shakespearean comedy “Twelfth Night, Or What You Will,” will kick off SUNY Oswego’s theatre season with an Oct. 10 opening in Waterman Theatre. Among the cast members are, from left, Nathaniel Angstrom (Sir Toby Belch), Michael Racioppa (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Kim Saunders (Maria), Daniel Williams (Feste), Allison Kleber (Countess Olivia) and Ryan Santiago (Count Orsino). The play will run through Oct. 14.

CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Sep 19, 2007)