William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Directed by Brent Hunsinger
Audition Dates and Times:
September 7 @4pm in NHS Theatre (PAC)
Call Backs September 8 @3pm in NHS Theatre (PAC)
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October 21, 22 & 23
Twelfth Night, or What You Will
ABOUT THE PLAY
Viola, “of Messaline,” wrecked on the Illyrian shore and believing wrongly that her twin brother Sebastian has been drowned, becomes (in male disguise of Cesario) a page to Orsino, the Duke. She bears his reiterated and scorned love message to the young countess Olivia, who is mourning affectedly for a dead brother. Olivia falls in love with Viola/Cesario. Meanwhile (Act II) Olivia’s parasitic uncle Sir Toby, her gullible suitor Sir Andrew, encouraged by Toby, her gentlewoman Maria, her “allowed fool” Feste, and Fabian, also in her service, join to trick Malvolio, her somber, haughty and puritanical steward, an enemy of them all…. Presently, told by a forged letter (ostensibly Olivia’s, actually Maria’s) that Olivia is infatuated with him, Malvolio takes to himself the phrase: “Some are born great, some achieve, greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.” Obeying the false command to appear before his mistress smiling and in absurdly cross-gartered yellow stockings…Malvolio is carried off (Act III) to a dark cell as a presumed madman. Sebastian, who we have realized by now was saved (believing his sister lost), has reached the town with his rescuer Antonio, a piratical captain who had once fought against Orsino’s ships. The plotters have persuaded Andrew, jealous of Olivia’s obvious love for Cesario, to challenge the page to a duel; while this is being scrambled through, Antonio arrives, mistakes Cesario for Sebastian, draws his sword to help, and is arrested by the Duke’s officers.
Soon afterwards (Act IV), Toby, believing Sebastian to be Cesario, attacks him and is sternly rebuked by Olivia. Also mistaken, she begs the young man to go with her’; he does so, pleasantly bewildered, and in a brief later scene she urges marriage… and they follow a priest to the chantry. Finally (Act V), confusions are resolved:
The twins recognize each other; Viola, herself again, will be Orsino’s Duchess, his “fancy’s queen;” Toby weds Maria; Malvolio, released, swears revenge on “the whole pack of you;” and the comedy fades in Feste’s twilight song.
Trewin, J. C. The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays. London: Octopus
Publishing, 2004. Pp. 105-6
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Please prepare one 60 sec (45sec min – 90sec max) Shakespearian comedic monologue. You may choose another Elizabethan period monologue if you wish; Christopher Marlow, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, etc.
Reading the Play: Copies of the script are available HERE and listed below. We are using the No Fear series for this production which includes both original text and modern language text. Make sure to read through the modern language version of the play to get a sense of the story. However, the actual production will utilize the Elizabethan language for performance. We will use the Elizabethan language for the auditions as well.
Scenes: We will read audition scenes as listed in the packet. However, these will not be typical cold readings. I will make several scene assignments, give actors time to prep them, and then read them.
During the scenes, I will watch for people connecting with each other, portraying the emotions of the scene in an honest manner.
Don’t worry about pronouncing everything correctly or losing your place. I am primarily interested in actors who can bring meaning to the language and make it come to life, and who can generate honest feelings in the scenes. Acting is responding realistically in an imaginary situation. The two most important words in that sentence are “responding” and “realistically.”
Singing: One character, Feste, sings throughout the play. I would like this performer to sing. So, students interested in this role should be prepared to sing at auditions. Just be ready to sing unaccompanied (“Happy Birthday,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” etc.)
REHEARSALS AND CONFLICTS
Rehearsals are typically right after school Monday through Thursday. There is currently scheduled one Saturday rehearsal scheduled on Oct. 16th.
This production period is a bit compressed, we have exactly 6 weeks to put up a major Shakespeare production. So, it is important that everyone be at all called rehearsals. I make an effort to not call every actor to be at every rehearsal. I’ll know more about scheduling once the show has been cast. Every actor will need to attend ALL rehearsals for at least the last two weeks of the production period.
Actors will be asked to provide a schedule of conflicts at auditions.
Absences, tardiness, lack of preparation for rehearsal, inappropriate behavior, and lack of advance notice of conflicts can result in expulsion from the production.
To be considered to be in the production (CAST or CREW) you must complete and sign the Nease Theatre Department Contract
|Characters||Act and Scene||First Line||End Line|
|Orsino, Curio and Valentine||Act 1 Scene 1||ENTIRE SCENE|
|Viola and Captain||Act 1 Scene 2||ENTIRE SCENE|
|Maria, Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Arguecheek||Act 1 Scene 3||
SIR TOBY: What
a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus?
MARIA: Ay, sir, I
have them at my fingers’ ends: marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
|Malvolio, Maria, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste||Act 2 Scene 3||MARIA: What a caterwauling do you keep here!||
she shall know of it, by this hand.
|Orsino and Viola (as Cesario)||Act 2 Scene 4||
|VIOLA: To die, even when they to perfection grow!|
|Malvolio, Maria, Fabian, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew||Act 2 Scene 5||
MARIA: Get ye all three into the
wins him, liver and all.
|Feste and Viola||Act 3 Scene 1||VIOLA: Save thee, friend, and thy music: dost thou live by thy tabour?||VIOLA: … And to do that well craves a kind of wit.|
|Viola (as Cesario) and Olivia||Act 3 Scene 1||
VIOLA: Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts
On his behalf.
OLIVIA: …That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.
|Sebastian and Antonio||Act 3 Scene 3||ENTIRE SCENE|
|Sebastian, Olivia and Sir Toby||Act 4 Scene 1||
go thy hand.
OLIVIA: O, say
so, and so be!
Twelfth Night Character Map
Viola is a young woman who is shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria. She disguises herself as a young man called Cesario and goes to work for Orsino.
Olivia is a wealthy heiress in Illyria. Her father and brother have recently died.
Orsino is a duke and the governor of Illyria. He is in love with Olivia even though she is not interested in him.
Sir Toby Belch is related to Olivia. He is often drunk and enjoys playing tricks on people.
Malvolio is Olivia’s steward, the manager of her household. He dislikes Sir Toby’s drunken behavior and dreams of marrying Olivia.
Sir Andrew is staying with his friend Sir Toby and hopes to marry Olivia. He has a lot of money.
Maria is Olivia’s maid. She looks out for Sir Toby and likes to impress him.
Feste is Olivia’s jester, or fool. He also sometimes works for Orsino.
Sebastian is Viola’s twin brother, separated from her during the shipwreck which happens before the play begins. Sebastian was rescued by a sea captain called Antonio.
Fabian is a member of Olivia’s household who has lost that lady’s favor due to Malvolio’s telling her about a bear-baiting Fabian was involved with. For revenge, he joins in the plot to make a fool of the steward. He also helps Sir Toby keep control of Sir Andrew.
Antonio is a sea captain. He rescued Sebastian from the shipwreck and follows him when they arrive in Illyria.
CURIO and VALENTINE
Two of Orsino’s attendants. Valentine is sent to try and woo Olivia, though he is not quite as successful at gaining entrance to Olivia’s house as “Cesario” is. Curio accompanies Orsino on his visit to Olivia’s in the last act, though he says nothing; their basic purpose is to wait on Orsino as best they can, but they are not as close to him or as important in the action as Viola is.