“Twelfth Night” is a comedy you can’t miss


NSU News

In the imaginary land of Illyria, everything is not what it seems. From a shipwreck separating two twins, to mistaken identity, “Twelfth Night” is sure to entertain.

In the imaginary land of Illyria, everything is not what it seems. From a shipwreck separating two twins, to mistaken identity, “Twelfth Night” is sure to entertain.

The Northwestern State University of Louisiana Department of Theatre and Dance will be debuting a production of William Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night” March 16 to 19 at 7:30 p.m. and March 19 at 2 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium.

“The subtitle that Shakespeare gave the play ‘Twelfth Night’ is ‘what you will,’ meaning, make of it whatever you want,” Jack Wann, professor emeritus and guest director of “Twelfth Night,” said. “All kinds of mistaken identity and things like that are part of what makes the comedy.”

Along with directing “Twelfth Night,” Wann is teaching a class called “Acting Shakespeare,” which is offered to students in the theater and dance department.

There is a plethora of Shakespeare plays to choose from, including comedies, histories and tragedies, but Wann specifically chose a comedy to lighten the mood of the audience as COVID-19 persists to shake the nation.

“We all need to escape these days, so I thought a fun Shakespeare would be the right one to pick, so that’s why we went that way,” Wann said.

Robert McCandlish, senior theater major, was excited at the prospect to work under the tutelage of Wann for this production, which drove him to audition for the show.

“Once I heard Dr. Jack Wann would be directing the show, I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” McCandlish said. “I also really enjoy Shakespeare’s comedies because there is a lot of opportunity to experiment.”

McCandlish plays Feste the fool, a jester for Olivia, a wealthy lady in Illyria.

“There is a lot of mischief that goes on,” McCandlish said. “I act as the instigator between the court royalty and their underlings. Feste the Fool finds any and every way to stay in the loop.”

Jordon Thomas, senior theater major playing Antonio, is enjoying the opportunity to act in a Shakespeare play before graduating.

“I’m a senior, and we haven’t done a Shakespeare show since well before I even came to this school,” Thomas said.

Kristi Contreary, senior theater major, plays Viola, one of the twins that are shipwrecked at the beginning of the show. Viola is separated from her brother, Sebastian, and spends most of the play disguised as a man, Cesario, to take care of herself.

“Viola is the woman that I strive to be in a lot of ways,” Contreary said. “She uses her stress and heartache to push her forward rather than hold her back and recently I have truly been trying to do the same.”

Wann is pleased with the work that has been done by the cast so far in putting the play together, and feels like they all fit into their roles very well.

“What I ended up getting, I was delighted with. They have all been solid choices,” Wann said. “I think we did quite well. I’m very excited about the cast, I think they’re a good group.”

Although the play deals with seemingly heavy topics, it is at its heart a comedy, so everything is handled with lightness in true Shakespearean comedic fashion.

“There’s not much of a serious bone in it at all. It’s comedic throughout, so they should have a good time,” Wann said.

Tickets are 15$ and 12$ for senior citizens. NSU students and Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts students are admitted free with a current I.D.