Twelfth Night: Shakespeare Meets the 80’s

Click to view slideshow! (Hannah Reynolds, photographer)

Last week, the theatre department of St. John’s Prep presented the Shakespearean comedy Twelfth Night, with one twist: it’s set in the eighties.  The play opened up with “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, an eighties classic.  But it only got better from there–the costumes were amazingly cringe-worthy, including the combination of cowboy boots and a trench coat worn by Feste the Clown (Ryan Ahles), and the hair and hairspray combo gentlewomen Maria (Caitlin Skahen) was sporting.  The 80’s theme continued throughout the play, making it twice as fun to watch.

Even without the outrageous costumes, the plot of Twelfth Night is amazing.  It starts with young Viola (Ilia Bauer-Jones), who is shipwrecked and thinks her brother is stranded at sea and possibly dead.  When she realizes where she is, the young girl disguises herself as a man named Cesario to hide from the ruling duke, Orsino (Christian Brenny), who hates her family. Viola ends up working for the duke in wooing the “lady across the lane,” Olivia (Grace Knobalch).  Olivia falls in love with Viola/Cesario, while Viola/Cesario falls in love with the Duke. This love triangle quickly becomes a love square, then pentagon, eventually turning into a hexagon when Viola/Cesario’s supposed “stranded at sea” twin brother, Sebastian (Callista Sorteberg), returns.  Everything unravels in a comedic twist that leaves the audience laughing and happy when they leave the theater.

Twelfth Night was a great play that every actor and crew member worked incredibly hard to put on.  Their work paid off and I believe everyone who attended left proud of the students who participated.  Good job, SJP Theatre Department — I’m excited to see the spring musical, Peter Pan.