Exploring the tragically ironic behavior of people in love, one of the College of William and Mary’s performance troupes, Shakespeare in the Dark, will be putting on its interpretation of the Bard’s comedy “Twelfth Night” this week.
The play is a modern interpretation of the classic work, falling somewhere between Shakespeare and “She’s The Man,” a movie starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum. Student director Megan Behm ’11 conceived the idea during her freshman year to put on a version of the show set in the modern day political and social elite.
“It was originally a much crazier concept, with lots of cross-dressing and other things,” Behm said.
The show, which premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Sadler Center’s Commonwealth Auditorium, will be a milder version. Although still true to the original script, it contains plenty of modern touches and interpretations to make it relevant.
The largely Shakespearean dialogue provides an intriguing clash with the modern day costumes. The story is very much the same but contains less of the Shakespearean cliche, according to Myron Kimble ’10. Kimble plays the role of Antonio, a pirate in the Shakespearean version.
The cast has wholeheartedly adopted Behm’s translation of the story from the Elizabethan era to the modern day.
“I love working with a student director who’s very passionate. It makes everyone more enthusiastic,” Eric Nold ’10 said. “The emotion comes out more because we can sit and talk about [what’s going on in the play].”
Playing the role of Orsino, Nold is central to the play’s focus on the follies of love. This explains why Nold spent the first day of rehearsal talking about the meaning of love.
“Loving is like digging a hole,” he said. “You’re digging up this treasure in a new person … You keep digging until [he or shes] leave[s] you. You can’t get out of the hole when it’s over because you’re so far in.”
The rest of the cast agreed that this was a good summary of the first day’s discussion and of what the play is about in general: the beautiful combination of deep emotions broken up by plenty of comedy.
“[I love that] the cast had the chance to work with the director to create scenes and add the humorous bits,” Megan Ammirati ’10, who plays the female lead of Viola, said. “I also love that we have a grown male in a onesie.”
This mixture is exactly what Behm is aiming for. She said she wants the audience to laugh, cry and feel empathy for certain characters. But she also wants them to think.
“I hope people will wonder about things we value in our society that are not always admirable. I also hope they’ll laugh their butts off,” she said.
The show will be in the Commonwealth Auditorium Nov. 4, 5 and 8 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3.