Romance, love triangle, comedy and disorder.
It must be a play by William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare wrote “Twelfth Night” around 1601-1602 to be performed at the Twelfth Night entertainment, just before the end of the Christmas season. Twelfth night was a Christian holiday held on the last of the twelve days of Christmas.
Students from Waynesboro High School will perform “Twelfth Night” November 17-20 at the Louis B. Spilman Auditorium.
“Because it’s a fantastic comedy,” said Samantha Nichols, theater arts and English teacher, play director, of production choice.
Nichols said she tries to incorporate more fight scenes into high school theatrical productions, as students have expressed interest in roles that require more physicality and depth than just saying lines.
“This show provides a really good starting point for students,” she said. “Fight scenes are always at the top of the intense or joyful moments in the production.”
Eight to nine crew members support 17 actors on stage in the production.
“I hope that [audience members] take away that what you show to the world isn’t always who you are on the inside,” Nichols said. She said she hopes the production encourages everyone to allow themselves to be who they really are, not what others expect of them.
With renovations to the high school’s auditorium and drama department, Nichols said having more Shakespeare on stage “became more and more important.” His plays contain “timeless language and themes” for all actors and audience members.
According to Nichols, after performing in a Shakespeare play, students can walk away and say they’ve explored a different world. As an English teacher, Nichols said acting in a Shakespeare play was different from reading it from the pages of a book. He wrote the plays with the intent that they would be seen on stage, not read, and the humor is best enjoyed on stage.
Bella Klemm, 15, a sophomore at Waynesboro High, has acted in theater for many years.
“It’s a different kind of role,” Bella said of the production language.
To prepare for her lead role, “Viola,” Bella read the play and did some research.
“She cares a lot about everyone in her life,” Bella said of “Viola.” She is one of those people, she is very empathetic. Bella said that “Viola” finds joy despite lying.
Although Bella never had to do what “Viola” has, Bella prepared to portray her by referring to the relationships in her life: the loss of Viola’s brother and her interest in “Duke Orsino”. “Viola” has complex relationships with everyone because of who she is.
Bella said she wanted viewers to see how much work she and her fellow actors put into the production, but she also hopes the production will encourage them to see more theater.
“We had so much fun putting on the show,” Bella said.
Jacob Hostetter, 16, a junior at Waynesboro High, will portray “Duke Orsino.” In preparation for the role, he said he attempted to understand “Duke” from his dialogue, not how others portrayed the character. He put his own perspective on who “Duke” is.
“He’s a man who’s in love with the idea of being in love,” Jacob said. “Duke” is in love with “Countess Olivia”.
Jacob said “Duke” wants to be in love with everything in life and that’s how he approaches life.
“Shakespeare is confusing, but I hope people see that you can really have fun,” Jacob said. Even if you don’t always understand the dialogue, Jacob said he hopes audience members “can see that it’s a fun time.”
Jacob has been acting in theater since he was five years old and has worked with many different people.
“But nothing prepared me to try to learn Shakespeare,” he said.
Performances on Thursday, November 17 and Friday, November 18 will be at 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 20. Tickets are available online, and cash only at the door. Tickets are $10 per student and $15 per adult.