Shakespeare is alive at USD; Twelfth Night to be presented

Shakespeare is alive at USD; Twelfth Night to be presented William Shakespeare's comic genius will be featured at USD when the department of theatre presents Twelfth Night April 21-24 at 8 p.m. and April 25 at 2 p.m. in Theatre I of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

Twelfth Night is generally regarded as Shakespeare's highest achievement in comedy.

The play is set in the fantastical Illyris where Duke Orsino pines for the lovely Olivia, who has forsworn the company of men until she has mourned seven years for her brother's death.

Viola, the survivor of a shipwreck, is cast ashore in Illyria and disguises herself as a man (Cesario) in order to secure employment as the Duke's messenger. Complications em-erge as Cesario/Viola falls in love with Duke; Olivia falls in love with Cesario/Viola, and the jealous Sir Andrew Aguecheeke, who covets Olivia for himself, challenges Cesario/Viola to a duel.

The humor and chaos intensify when Viola's twin brother, Sebastian, who was thought to be drowned at sea, shows up creating opportunities for mistaken identity. Weaving through all of this are the hijinks of Sir Toby Belch and his sidekicks, Sir Andrew Aguecheeke and Maria. Together they plot the downfall of the pompous Malvolio.

Malvolio, one of the most memorable characters in all of dramatic literature, will be played by Jan Swank, artistic director of the Black Hills Playhouse and a member of Actors' Equity, the union for professional actors. Swank is on campus as a visiting artist for this production.

Director Roberta Rude, chair of the department of theatre, has also cast theatre faculty, Ronald Moyer and Harold Hynick, in the roles of Feste (the clown) and Sir Toby Belch, respectively. Kevin Noteboom, A USD alum and guest artist from Minneapolis provides scenic design.

Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for senior citizens and youth, and $2 for USD students with ID. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Call the USD Theatre box office at 677-5400 for reservations.

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