(Photos from the dress rehearsal for the production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night being performed by the Kanata Theatre actors from November 8 to 18, 2023 at the Ron Maslin Playhouse in Kanata. Photos: Jane Pick)
Fans of Shakespeare’s comedies can look forward to Kanata Theatre’s next production: Twelfth Night. Running from November 8th to the 18th (including a matinee on November 12th), the local theatre’s production of the romantic comedy marks the 40th anniversary of Kanata Theatre’s first production of a Shakespeare play, which was itself Twelfth Night.
Written around the year 1600, Twelfth Night is hailed as one of the great comedies: “A shipwreck separates Viola from her twin brother, Sebastian. Believing him dead, Viola disguises herself as a boy and goes to work for Duke Orsino, who she loves. The object of the duke’s heart, Olivia, does not reciprocate his feelings – however, she falls madly for Viola, whose true gender she doesn’t know. Meanwhile, Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby, manipulates their entangled relationships.
”The play takes place in Illyria, a made-up place of the imagination, and serves as a rather chaotic comedy with several interwoven and farcical plotlines. “Even the character names should appeal to audiences: Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek,” says Box Office Director Jane Pick.
This production of Twelfth Night includes modern-day costumes, as well as some modern English at times in addition to the classic Shakespearean English. Director Jim Holmes is one of the theatre’s founding members, having directed 29 plays throughout his years at Kanata Theatre. Kenny Hayes, the play’s music director, has written and will perform all songs with the accompaniment of a few other musicians. Overall, the local theatre’s production includes 17 cast members, with the main cast and characters including:
- Abbey Sugars-Keen as Viola
- Dale McEachern as Sir Toby Belch
- Brian McManus as Sir Andrew Aguecheek
- Kenny Hayes as Feste
- Emily Walsh as Olivia
- Ian Gillies as Orsino
Twelfth Night is the last of the ten pure comedies that Shakespeare wrote. He wrote it when he was at the top of his form. His next play was Hamlet. Kanata Theatre’s production marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, without which 18 of the plays, including Twelfth Night, might have been lost forever. This will be the seventh Shakespeare play produced by Kanata Theatre.
Twelfth Night runs from Wednesday, November 8th to Saturday, November 18th at 7:30 p.m., save for a 2:30 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, November 12th. To learn more about the play – and to purchase tickets – visit Kanata Theatre’s website.