USD Theatre stages Shakespeare's classic 'Twelfth Night'

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s timeless comedy “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” Dec. 3-7 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre at the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

Directed by Chaya Gordon-Bland, an assistant professor of theatre with a specialty in Shakespeare production, “Twelfth Night” begins with a harrowing shipwreck that separates twins, Viola (Natalie Polisson of Crown Point, Ind.) and Sebastian (Zach Drane of Amana, S.D.), but tragedy turns to comedy when they wash up on the shores of Illyria. There, Viola masquerades as Cesario, the page, and enters the service of Duke Orsino (David Hernandez III of Huron, S.D.), with whom she falls deeply in love. Oblivious to Viola’s identity and intentions, the Duke is infatuated with Countess Olivia (Tarryn Rouse of Doniphan, Neb.), who has rejected all of his previous advances. 

Complications arise when the Countess falls in love with the page that has paid her a visit. In the midst of this, pranksters within Olivia’s court: Maria (Jamie Fields of Bellevue, Neb.), Sir Toby Belch (Reese Porter of South Sioux City, Neb.), Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Patrick Beasley of Lincoln, Neb.) and Feste, the clown (Allen Jones of Miller, S.D.), succeed in fooling Olivia’s steward Malvolio (Cody Strand, Brandon, S.D.) into believing that Olivia is in fact madly in love with him. Additional actors within Illyria include Jessie Atkinson of Sioux City, Iowa, Will Cornay of Yankton, S.D., Kevin Earlywine of Rockford, Ill., and Fred Liebfried of Anson, Maine.  

Set designer is Professor Tim Case of Sioux City, Iowa, and lighting designer is Professor Anthony Pellecchia of Cleveland, Ohio. Undergraduate student Natalie Freisen of Freeman, S.D., is the costume designer.

“Twelfth Night” performs at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, Dec. 4, Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5.  Tickets are $14 for adults, $9 for K-12 and non-USD students with ID, and $4 for USD students with ID.  The box office is open noon to 5 p.m. for walk up sales beginning Wednesday, Nov. 24 or reserve seats by calling the USD Theatre box office at (605) 677-5400 or at www.usd.edu/theatre.