The Carleton Players are pleased to present Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” premiering tonight in the Weitz Center for Creativity Theater at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Following Saturday’s matinee performance, the Carleton College Department of Theater & Dance will host a reception honoring director Ruth Weiner, Class of 1944 Professor of Theater and the Liberal Arts, who will retire later this year after forty years of service to the College. Performances are free and open to the public; reservations can be made by calling (507) 222-4341 or by visiting online at www.carleton.tixato.com/buy.
“Twelfth Night” is considered a satire on love, at least of Petrarchan love. Petrarch in his poetry created a distance, unworthiness, between the loved one and the lover, in which the man places the woman on a pedestal. However, a Petrarchan lover must be taught a more reasonable, more practical attitude toward love: this is the major theme of “Twelfth Night.”
Shakespeare’s story takes place on the coast of Illyria after a terrible shipwreck, in which the young lady Viola (Carleton sophomore Kristen Nassar, Oak Park, Ill.) arrives ashore with the help of the ship’s captain but loses contact with her twin brother Sebastian (Carleton senior Freddy Stein, Sherwood, Ore.) whom she believes died in the wreck. She then disguises herself as the man Cesario and enters the service of the pining Duke Orsino (Carleton junior Sam Braslow, Los Angeles). Duke Orsino has fallen in love with Olivia (Carleton senior Hannah Neville, Poplar Spring, Conn.) but Olivia refuses to see any suitor.
The production also features Carleton students Andrew Harvey ’15 (Seattle) as Sir Toby Belch, Ethan Ramsay ’17 (Oak Park, Ill.) as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Grace Black ’16 (Jacksonville, Fl.) as Maria, Max Henkel ’14 (Edina, Minn.) as Antonio, Jackson Raynor ’17 (St. Louis Park, Minn.) as Curio, and Alexander Berlin ’17 (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) as Valentine.
“There are a million reasons why people should come see [the play]—first and foremost it's a wonderful Shakespeare comedy. It will be fun for anyone to watch,” said Assistant Director Julie Leghorn ’14 (New Rochelle, N.Y.) “We also have Professor Roger Bechtel playing the part of Malvolio, which for many students will be something not to be missed. There is live music arranged by the musical composer for the Twin Cities' ‘Ten Thousand Things’ theater company.”
“But what really makes this production special,” said Leghorn, “is the fact that it is Ruth's final production before retirement. Ruth has been at Carleton since the Sixties, when there weren't theater courses, let alone a major. Alums who have worked with and love Ruth are coming back to watch and support her.”
For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Department of Theater & Dance at (507) 222-4341. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located on Third and College Streets in Northfield.