Drama presents Twelfth Night


The WHS drama department will perform William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the Carpenter Family Theater on Nov. 16–18 at 7 p.m. with a matinee on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.

Drama teacher DeEdra Burke chose to perform this play because of the amount of girls she has in the theater class this year.

“I have the right cast combination [this year],” said Burke. “[This] is a play that girls can play guys and guys can play girls.”

Twelfth Night starts with a shipwreck where twins are separated when washed ashore on the island of Illyria. Throughout the play, they are mistaken for each other. Viola, played by Veronica Miller ‘18, pretends to be a man named Cesario, in order to protect herself since she does not have a guardian figure.

“My character has a twin brother, and they get separated at sea, so basically I’m left on my own to try and figure myself out in this new, weird place where I shipwrecked,” said Miller.
The play is set in the Renaissance, and key sets include Olivia’s garden, a boat and Duke Orsino’s palace.

“[The show] takes place in Illyria,” said Burke. “It’s Mediterranean, and it has a Spanish–Italian influence.”

The costuming is also based on the Renaissance era. The costume group’s goal is to find matching costumes that are from the right era, fit everyone and look good.

“We have a lot of gender diversity in this play,” said costume designer Gentry Peeples ‘18. “We have a lot of girls playing guys and vice versa, so for the guys we have them in skirts and corsets, and for girls we have them wearing guys’ clothes.”

The cast and crew attend daily rehearsals during and after school in addition to preparing individually.

“We’re rehearsing every night for so long,” said Alexa Kasparian ‘18, who plays Olivia, an admirer of Cesario. “We’re going over lines and rehearsing during class, and it’s a lot of independent work of memorizing lines and trying to figure out how our characters are.”

Burke hopes that people will walk away with a good grasp of Shakespeare after watching WHS’s production of Twelfth Night.

“I want the audience to discover that they love Shakespeare or that they have an appreciation for it, more so than they had before they [attended the show],” said Burke.

According to the cast and director, Twelfth Night provides an abundance of comedy.

“[The audience] should look forward to how funny and witty the show is. Even though Shakespeare is very difficult to understand, everything [in this play] is so simply said,” said Kasparian. “[The audience] should look forward to the jokes, the passive aggressiveness and the weird love that goes on between guys and girls.”

Even with the obstacles that Burke and the cast face with getting into character, Burke has faith in her students’ abilities and the outcome of the play.

“I look forward to seeing everyone rise to the challenge of just really developing their characters and playing as an ensemble to where you feel like you’re there looking into [the characters’] lives,” said Burke.

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for students. They can be bought at the door or online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34378.