SBU Theater will stage its production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” from Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Garret Theater on the St. Bonaventure University campus.
Tickets are $8 for the public, $6 for SBU employees and students. Free student rush tickets will be available on a limited basis one hour before curtain at the Garret Theater box office; one ticket per valid student ID, in-person only.
All seats in the Garret Theater are assigned and seating is limited. Reservations are advised. For tickets and information, call the box office at (716) 375-2494.
The production is set in 1921 in a city very similar to New Orleans.
Dr. Ed. Simone, director of SBU’s theater program, hopes to recreate the popularity of Twelfth Night Revelers in New Orleans by using masks and music to create a party atmosphere. This used to be as popular in New Orleans and its surrounding parishes as Mardi Gras is now. The actors will also be using some Louisiana dialects to help create the atmosphere.
“Twelfth Night” was selected because it hasn’t been performed on campus in 12 years, Simone said. The comedy was also selected because of the casting opportunities.
“Comedies tend to have more opportunities for women and more flexible casting regarding gender,” said Simone. “We’ve actually changed some of the characters from men to women and provided more opportunities for student actors.”
Student actors performing in the play come from a variety of academic disciplines, a point of pride for the theater program.
The students work very hard throughout the semester in preparation for the production, Simone said. Auditions are held the first Wednesday and Thursday of every semester, and rehearsals begin the following Monday. There are typically rehearsals four or five nights per week, and even more during the week of a production.
Simone estimates that each actor puts in approximately 100 hours per production.
“It’s been a long process, from memorizing lines to getting used to the different type of style the play is taking on,” said sophomore Taquan Brown, who will play the role of Orsino. “I am excited for the show because I like to be able to create a character and portray that character for people, and with the audience able to sit on the stage as well, it’s a great experience to have.”
Students not only receive hands-on experience preparing for and performing these plays, but they are also in charge of some of the behind-the-scenes work as well. Members of the backstage tech crew often dedicate as much time as the actors — and sometimes more.
“It is an essential part of the bachelor’s in theater major that everyone do some of everything,” said Simone. “Our sets, lighting and costumes for this production are designed by Professor Rebecca Misenheimer and assembled, sewn and finished by students working in our shops in Butler and members of the acting company as well.”
Almost everything seen on stage is built from original designs, he said.
Performing Shakespeare is another way in which Simone ensures that students are receiving as much professional experience as possible. Shakespeare is challenging because of the language, he said, but his works develop every facet of a student’s acting range.
Simone is looking forward to this year’s performance, especially watching the students new to SBU Theater.
“Every year is a different energy, a different ensemble, so the feel of each production is unique,” said Simone. “The intensity and the quality of the work is our real joy in theater, and this ensemble for ‘Twelfth Night’ has been bringing that all along.”
The cast features the following students:
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you