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Adelphi’s Production of Twelfth Night

Adelphi University’s production of Twelfth Night ended this past Sunday, but it enjoyed a wonderful run. Under the gifted direction of Dr. Brian Rose, and the hard work of Adelphi students, the entire production was on point, including what was happening on stage and behind the scenes.

For those who are not familiar with the plot, Twelfth Night centers around the character Viola, who is thrown ashore after a shipwreck. She disguises herself as a man and enters into the service of Count Orsino, with whom she promptly falls in love. Count Orsino is in love with Olivia, a countess, whose household staff – Malvolio and Maria – and kooky uncle Sir Toby Belch and friends Feste and Sir Andrew, cause all sorts of mischief. The play is a riotous one, filled with countless instances of mistaken identities. But when Violia’s twin brother Sebastian, thought to be dead, shows up, things get really interesting.

The actors truly brought this great story to life. Kate McLeod’s distinct embodiment between Viola and her male counterpart Cesario created interesting movements and approaches for each identity, and made them just different enough to still be similar. Lindsay Horgan expressed fantastic dual personalities in her own character, Olivia, showing the audience both the proper, reserved countess and the giggling woman in love. Julie Brannon was hilarious in the role of Maria, with perfect expressions and quick and clever reactions to the story, which the audience may have missed if they weren’t watching close enough.


The men were fantastic as well. Stephen Lopez’s embodiment of Malvolio, with his dramatic twists and daring pliés, increased the hilarity of his actions ten-fold. Ryan Egar’s character voice used for Sir Andrew had the entire audience cracking up with nearly every line. Michael Bradley made the audience love the drunk and ridiculous Sir Toby Belch. The audience was also treated to some lovely piece-appropriate music by the talented Rich Townsend as Feste. Curtis Dunn, Timothy Simpson, Evan Brubaker, Joe Kenny, Kaiho Wong and Harley Yeager were also notable in their roles and filled in a strong and thriving cast.

Adelphi’s Twelfth Night was not your ordinary Shakespeare. The story was adapted to be set in the 1920s on the French Riviera. This small matter of setting breathed new life into an old story, and lead to beautiful design aspects on the part of the production team.

Most notable of these aspects were the scenic and costume design. The set, designed by John McDermott, perfectly captured the beachy-yet-glamorous vibe demanded of the 1920s French Riviera. The smallest details could be found throughout the exterior of Olivia and Orsino’s house, showing the immense amount of care that went into their design. The interesting placement and alignment of the central stairs gave the set great perspective and balance. Multiple entrances could be found on all levels of the set, keeping the staging fresh and interesting.

The costumes, designed by Sean Sullivan, supported the vibe of the set. While the costumes were distinctly 1920s outfits, it was refreshing to not have every woman in a flapper dress and every man in a pressed suit. There was a nice variety in their appearance that expressed the personality and social standing of each character. Even the more comedic costumes, such as Malvolio’s infamous yellow stockings, never sacrificed style for gags.

Twelfth Night was a wonderful example of the work being done in Adelphi’s Theatre department. If you missed Twelfth Night, be sure to check out the Freshman Showcase in December and other exciting shows in the Spring!

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