By William Shakespeare
Directed by Lesley Schisgall Currier
Cast and Production Staff
Viola – Elena Wright*
Olivia – Kathryn Smith-McGlynn*
Orsino – Dean Linnard*
Sebastian – Kerel Rennacker
Sir Toby Belch – Daren Kelley*
Sir Andrew Aguecheek – Michael J. Hume*
Maria – Mary Baird*
Malvolio – John Abbot Gardiner*
Antonio – Braedyn Youngberg
Feste, Sea Captain, Priest – Jeremy Vik*
Ensemble: Brendan Downey, Carolyn Fluehr, Nick Gallagher, Bethany Matthis-Montgomery, Nick Moore, Misha Osherovich, Shayna Maci Warner
Director/Producer – Lesley Schisgall Currier
Costume Designer – Abra Berman
Fight Director – Richard Pallaziol
Lighting Designer – Dave Lam
Properties & Set Decor – Joel Eis
Set Designer – Jackson Currier
Sound Designer – Billie Cox
Stage Manager – Michael Truman Cavanaugh*
Assistant Stage Manager – Liz Matos
* Member, Actors Equity Association
What a total joy to have old friends Michael Hume and Jake Gardiner on our stage at Forest Meadows, along with their old friends Daren Kelly and Mary Baird. This was a reunion of folks who acted and played together decades ago. Hume has gone on to over 20 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, where we delight to see him annually on our trips north. Kelly has been a Broadway and soap opera star, and itinerant regional theatre actor. Baird spent decades on New York stages before heading West to work at places like ACT and Berkeley Rep. And Gardiner spends his time as poet laureate of Laguna Beach, assaulting audiences with spoken word poetry, and musical renditions of Shakespeare’s Greatest hits. We joked about our geriatric version of the play, but you wouldn’t know it from these veterans’ energy levels that they have been at this theatre biz for four or more decades each. They were equally matched in talent and enthusiasm by the “young beautifuls” which featured favorite Elena Wright as Viola, newcomer Kathryn Smith-McGlynn as Olivia, Bay Area native Dean Linnard as Orsino and up-and-coming talent Kerel Rennacker as Sebastian. Braedyn Youngberg cracked us up onstage and off with his pirate-tressed Antonio.
And Jeremy Vik as Feste treated the audience to a feast of theatrical and clowning skills, playing multiple characters, juggling, balancing on chairs, walking down the aisles on his hands, and all usually while singing songs and playing the mandolin! Wow!
Jackson Currier gave us a set full of fun surprises, and Abra Berman whipped up colorful and fantastical costumes with the finest codpieces ever to grace our stage.
All in all, it was almost too much fun.
Twelfth Night is one of four celebratory Shakespeare comedies with whimsical titles or subtitles: As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and What You Will, which is the subtitle for Twelfth Night. Its title is also the name of a celebration, denoting the end of the 12 Days of Christmas (of which we sing about the partridge in the pear tree), the longest festivities of the year. And as if that weren’t enough to clue us that Shakespeare was writing in a merry and mirthful vein, he gives us a fool named Feste, from the word festive.
Sir Toby and Sir Andrew party and revel throughout the evening, drinking, dancing, singing and thinking up practical jokes. Duke Orsino seems to spend all his time amusing himself with poetry and song.
The plot revolves around a familiar Shakespearean theme, how foolish we become when we fall in love.
And yet, Shakespeare is infinitely complex. This play of revels and fools is streaked through with a vein of melancholy and loss. Three young characters mourn (seemingly or otherwise) dead siblings. Feste sings songs about death and the inexorableness of time. Even at his most celebratory, Shakespeare reminds us “to love that well which we must leave ere long.”
– Lesley Currier
“Marin Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ is boisterous fun under the stars at Forest Meadows…antics of gin-soaked Sir Toby Belch (Daren Kelly) and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Michael J. Hume) steal the show….Accomplished acrobat Jeremy Vik juggles and tumbles as the fool Feste, who brings the two worlds of the play together in a central thread of merrymaking and inventive feats of balance. Jackson Currier’s set design appears simple at first glance—pools of water and a primitive mural. It shines in use, as recessed pieces add to the staging, especially a revolving wall that turns an otherwise conventional scene of trickery from a letter into side-splitting hilarity.”
Alexa Chipman, Imagination Lane
“Marin residents should hie themselves to the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre for Marin Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘Twelfth Night,’ for director Leslie [sic] Currier and her cast have cooked up a chocolate truffle of Shakespearean delights: sweet, satisfying, slightly decadent—and an excellent remedy for depression….an evening under the stars is just the ticket for this midsummer night’s dream of a show….Director Currier has done an excellent job of bringing out all the comic silliness of the play and has heightened the joyously ribald nature of “Twelfth Night.” Currier was well assisted by costume designer Abra Berman and set designer Jackson Currier, who created moat-like ponds at either side of the stage, as well as spinning walls and hidden elements that make the set as flexible as some of the characters’ genders.
Patrick Thomas, Talkin’ Broadway
“Marin Shakespeare demonstrates why ‘Twelfth Night’ endures….Elena Wright makes a smart, sharply comedic Viola…Jeremy Vik brings some serious circus skills to the role of Feste, the jester, adding juggling, handstands, pratfalls and chair balancing to the character’s usual menu of singing and snarky wordplay….Michael J. Hume is awfully amusing as…Sir Andrew Aguecheek…Braedyn Youngberg has an entertainingly over-the-top turn as Antonio, the flamboyant pirate who adores amiably befuddled Sebastian….There’s nothing that says summer more than drunken revelry, cross-dressing and scheming to get your enemies locked up as insane. ‘Twelfth Night’ has all that and more, so it’s little wonder that it’s one of William Shakespeare’s most popular comedies….Jackson Currier’s set is more bare-bones than usual — just a painted background of a tropical beach with a few hidden doors — but the dock-like stage is surrounded by a reflecting pool of water now making its reappearance after a 20-year absence.”
Sam Hurwitt, Marin Independent Journal
“Marin Shakespeare Company Offers an Intriguing, Breezy Interpretation of “Twelfth Night….’Twelfth Night’ provides a happy ending as the various lovers become content in their final choice of partner, despite last minute shake-ups of gender and identity…the light-hearted tone of this production, which offers a good amount of humor, plot twists, and energy, leaves the audience in a ‘feel good’ mood, reminding everyone of lessons learned in the simpler days of childhood….Kathryn Smith-McGlynn (as Countess Olivia) takes center stage as the show’s standout performer. One of the most successful invocations of the spirit of childhood is Dean Linnard’s portrayal of Orsino, whose emotions come across as incredibly intense and genuine. Elena Wright as Viola, who offers a certain degree of vulnerability and emotionality as she shares a sympathy with Orsino’s feelings. Her sympathetic appreciation of Orsino’s musical torment and her discomfort at being forced to observe it while laying right next to him are particularly amusing….Additional accolades go to Kerel Rennacker as Sebastian, 20-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; actor Michael J. Hume as Sir Andrew Aguecheek; and Broadway, film and television actor Daren Kelly as Sir Toby Belch.”
Evan Almdale, Joint Forces Journal
” ‘Tweflth Night, Or What You Will,’ one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies with some of his most spontaneous, delightful lines, is wowing audiences at the Marin Shakespeare Company as this play usually does. A funny, solid production under the capable directorial hand of Lesley Schisgall Currier, this ‘Twelfth Night’ makes for an entertaining evening particularly because of the added circus skills of Feste (Jeremy Vik) and all the other members of a talented, professional cast that is obviously quite comfortable with broad comedy….Go see it.”
Marcy Solomon, Words on Theater
“The daffy delights of Marin’s ‘Twelfth Night’…the production is nothing if not fun…the cast takes a no-holds-barred approach to comic portrayal. Jeremy Vik as Feste moves assuredly in this character, adding his multiple talents not only as a singer but also as a juggler and tumbler. While reciting his lines, he constructs a pyramid of chairs on top of which he balances in a handstand.”
Jaime Robles, Piedmont Post
” ‘Twelfth Night’ has been called Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, and Marin Shakespeare’s director, Leslie [sic] Currier, has presented it at its wackiest. In the role of Feste the jester, Jeremy Vik employs acrobatics, music, juggling and acting on both levels of the stage. Vik is a big hit with the audience….Feste’s companions, the drunken Sir Toby Belch (Daren Kelly) and rascally Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Michael J. Hume) are superbly dissolute. They conduct their revelry at all hours and in exaggerated costumes with outsize codpieces. (Costumes by Abra Berman.) “
Rosine Reynolds / The Ark
“‘Twelfth Night’ a show of spot-on acting….Lots of fun…Marin Shakespeare Company has a treasure chest full of talented stars to sprinkle into their summer outdoor season. ‘Twelfth Night’ presents a cast of seventeen talents, and boy, do they shine onstage. Each is distinctly amusing, colorfully costumed (thanks to wizard Abra Berman) and solidly portrayed under award-winning director Lesley Schisgall Currier.”
Cari Lynn Pace, Marinscope Newspapers
“…a knee-slapping good time….Marin Shakespeare Company’s ‘Twelfth Night’…Lesley Currier and her MSC cast have all of the tools necessary to generate laughs—and more….when talent such as that displayed by MSC’s lead actors—in fact, by the company’s entire ensemble and artistic staff—is brought together…it should be an exhilarating experience for anyone who loves live theater.”
Charles Brousse, Pacific Sun
“This week’s theatre recommendation is Twelfth Night, presented by Marin Shakespeare Company at Dominican University in San Rafael. There are few more delightful summer Shakespeare experiences than those provided by Marin Shakespeare.”
Charles Kruger, The Storming Bohemian
“It takes a sure hand to get all of this to make some kind of sense, and turn bring some kind of depth to the droll situations these disparate individuals find themselves. For that we must thank director Lesley Shisgall Currier. Special nod to costume designer Abra Berman whose deft touches help to keep all this nuance in line. Kudos to this great cast, for leading us into this strange world and making sense of all this confusion, and bringing forth from us unending gales of laughter throughout.”
David Hirzel, For All Events