Love triangles and a he that’s a she
EAGLE-VAIL – Women wishing their man could have more female sensitivity will get a hoot out of Battle Mountain Players’ “Twelfth Night,” a Shakespeare comedy centered around love triangles. There is a terrible shipwreck as the play opens, separating twin sister and brother Viola (Josie Sutner) and Sebastian (Harrison Huntoon). Viola is washed up on Illyrian shore, assuming her brother was killed in the wreck. In Illyrian, Viola disguises herself as a man, Cesario, for her safety and goes to work as a messenger for Duke Orsino (Eric Gonzales). Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia (Kelly Lemon), who like Viola, is mourning the death of her brother. Duke Orsino has been sending messengers to woo Lady Olivia, but she refuses them and thus the duke’s love. Then the duke sends Cesario, his newest favorite messenger, to woo Lady Olivia. Cesario, who is really a she, breaks through to Lady Olivia causing her to fall in love with him.
“The reason is because Cesario is coming at her from a woman’s perspective,” Sutner said during dress rehearsal Wednesday night.”Lady Olivia has finally found a suitor that treats her as a person,” Lemon said.But Viola finds herself falling in love with Duke Orsino, which she can’t really pursue because he thinks she’s Cesario, a man. The love triangle is complete: Viola loves Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia and Olivia loves Cesario – and the only one who realizes it is Viola.”Shakespeare is known to undermine women, but this piece is unique because Viola is such a strong character,” Sutner said. “She’s very informed.”
Side story lines unfold, involving Feste the Fool (Sean Pack), members of Olivia’s household Sir Toby (Walker Loetscher) and Sir Andrew (Anthony Guida) – the party animals – along with Maria (Rebecca Richardson) and Fabiola (Chelsea Araydin) who torment head servant Malvolio (Josh Ball) with various tricks. “Shakespeare is awesome,” said Pack, whose character serves as the witty narrator. “The different themes he creates … It’s fun to play one of his characters because they are so real.”Pack said that one of the main themes in “Twelfth Night” is the notion that things are not always what they seem. Sutner added that Shakespeare is playing with the idea that even the most stubborn people can change, and one important factor can change everything.Heading up the performance teacher Suzanne Foster has adapted the play, modernizing the language and condensing the original five acts into two.
“Now my actors aren’t afraid of it, but are embracing it,” said Foster, who has studied with a Shakespeare scholar in both her undergraduate and graduate studies.Adapting the language will also help the audience to understand it.”We’re able to pull off this piece because Ms. Foster did modify it,” Sutner said. “But the messages weren’t lost in the adaptation.””Twelfth Night” opens Friday at 8 p.m. with a dinner served by the Shakespeare Club from 6-7:45 p.m. The meal, consisting of homemade Shepherd’s Pie, salad, rolls, beverages and dessert, is a fundraiser for the club’s trip to England. The play runs through Saturday and Sunday. Tickets may be reserved by calling 328-7834.
Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado