This weekend at Windrunner Dance Studio, Monroe County Civic Theater is kicking off its 30th season with Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night.” The show features an ensemble cast and a set hand-painted by Roy Sillings who also plays Malvolio.
The show is at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available on the Monroe County Civic Theater’s website for $15. Theatergoers are encouraged to park in the Windrunner parking lot or on the street but to avoid parking in the apartment complex nearby.
“Twelfth Night” is a comedy depicting Count Orsino, played by Jason Howard, who is in love with fair Olivia, played by Katie Benson. The central struggle revolves around Viola, played by Robin Pyle, as she cross-dresses in Orsino’s court while hiding her love for him.
The resulting love triangle spells hilarity with Shakespearian shenanigans of confused identity, drunken revelry, as well as gender-swapping. This production of “Twelfth Night” is out of the ordinary for its characterization of Feste the clown, played by Zilia Balkansky-Sellés. A smaller role in the original play, director Eric Van Gucht expanded on Feste’s character to develop the comedy of the show and appeal to modern audiences.
Additionally, Balkansky-Sellés herself composed some songs for the performance. Feste is traditionally a male role, so Balkansky-Sellés herself cross-dresses to portray a ukelele-playing fool.
Director Van Gucht said he selected “Twelfth Night” because he wanted to tackle something funny.
“This is a divided time in our country," Van Gucht said. "I chose this show in part because I think that we should be able to laugh in spite of the ridiculousness going on around us. I just ask that audiences suspend their disbelief for a moment. You just might see some things you weren’t expecting.”