Sweet Briar presents ‘Twelfth Night’ Oct. 15-18

From left: Shannon McCarthy (Viola), Mayalin Quinones (Olivia) and Tristin Burke (Sebastian). Photo by Charlotte Barbour '16.
From left: Shannon McCarthy (Viola), Mayalin Quinones (Olivia) and Tristin Burke (Sebastian). Photo by Charlotte Barbour ’16.

Sweet Briar College’s theater department will stage Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” directed by Bill Kershner, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, through Saturday, Oct. 17, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, in Murchison Lane Auditorium at Babcock Fine Arts Center.

Admission for the Oct. 15 performance is free for all students and teachers. The Oct. 18 show will be sign-interpreted. Tickets go on sale Monday, Oct. 5, and are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for children 11 and younger and for the Sweet Briar community. Tickets can be purchased beginning Oct. 5 by contacting the box office at (434) 381-6120 or boxoffice@sbc.edu. To purchase tickets by credit card, please visit sbc.edu/theatre.

“Twelfth Night” was written around 1601 as entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play revolves around twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola, searching for her brother, disguises herself as a boy and finds employment with Duke Orsino. She promptly falls in love with him, but Orsino is enamored of Countess Olivia. He sends Viola to woo Olivia for him, but Olivia falls in love with the disguised Viola. Mayhem, mix-ups and practical jokes fill this delightful comedy.

Kershner’s cast is made up mostly of Sweet Briar students, with two men from the community to complement his slate of female actors. As directors often do, he also tinkered with the setting.

“We’ve set it in Renaissance Italy with period costumes and some fun abstract set elements,” he said.

The cast includes musical theatre majors Shannon McCarthy ’16 (Viola), Mayalin Quinones ’16 (Countess Olivia) and Ashlynn Watson ’16 (Feste), education major Tristin Burke ’17 (Sebastian), Lynchburg resident Mark Foreman (Sir Toby Belch) and Bedford native Matt Bowyer (Malvolio).