The set for “Twelfth Night” is being loaded into the theatre and the actors have just a few more days of rehearsals before the audience shows up. Here’s a look into rehearsals for “Twelfth Night.”
Shipwrecked romantics get washed ashore in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s sparkling comedy Twelfth Night directed by Jon Kretzu at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. Rehearsals for the play started on Tuesday, September 23rd.
“The play for me is so much about all the different parts of love,” said Kretzu to the crowd gathered in the rehearsal room at Seattle Children’s Theatre. “All the things that love does to us. Not just the jolly parts, but all the really painful stuff that it brings up. And loneliness. Illyria just seemed like this incredible, fantastical place where people had to face their own feelings and deal with their own emotions and their own essential loneliness.” Kretzu and his design team have created a lush, elegant, and murky world of willows and shipwrecked furniture where the light of day is always at dusk and the characters are all grasping for something or someone to keep them from drowning in their own emotions.
Kretzu returns to Seattle Shakespeare Company having previously directed the 2013 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. He is the former Associate Artistic Director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland.
Several of the cast members from Kretzu’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost return for Twelfth Night including Allie Pratt as Viola and Jay Myers as Orsino, as well as Mike Dooly (Sir Toby), David Quicksall (Malvolio), and George Mount (Sir Andrew). Elinor Gunn who recently played Cordelia in King Lear will play Olivia. Conner Neddersen and Christopher Morson, seen this past summer as Valentine and Speed in the Wooden O production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona will play Feste and Sebastian. Julie Briskman who played Jenny in The Threepenny Opera in 2011 will play Maria. This is the fifth time Seattle Shakespeare Company has produced Twelfth Night in the company’s 24 year history
Several Seattle Shakespeare Company friends return to our stage for our fall production of “Twelfth Night” which starts performances October 21. Jon Kretzu, who staged our elegant and captivating production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” has brought back several cast members from that 2013 production
The production features Allie Pratt as Viola and Jay Myers as Orsino, both who appeared in “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Also joining them from that production are Mike Dooly (Sir Toby), David Quicksall (Malvolio), and George Mount (Sir Andrew).
Elinor Gunn who recently played Cordelia in “King Lear” will play Olivia. Conner Neddersen and Christopher Morson, seen this past summer as Valentine and Speed in the Wooden O production of “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” will play Feste and Sebastian. Julie Briskman who played Jenny in “The Threepenny Opera” in 2011 will play Maria. They’ll be joined by Joey Shaw (Antonio), Justin Cowan, Spencer Hamp, and Andrew Highlands in the ensemble.
I think the season coming up has some amazing play titles associated with and some amazing directors associated with each of those shows. And again, it’s also coming in as one of those seasons where the directors are coming at the plays from a passion point of view.
The theme of the season this year is built around the idea of what we’re calling “Lead Us Into Temptation.” So each of the plays, somewhere in them, deal with elements of love, desire, lust, ambition…chasing after that forbidden fruit. And how ideas of jealousy, deception, and corruption can bump up against those notions of craven impulses or secret desires.
The thing that’s going to be kicking off the season is going to be a real note for something here in Seattle. Before we get to our four play themed season, of “Lead Us Into Temptation,” we’re going to kick off a 5th full production in early September of “Waiting for Godot,” Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece of the last century. It’s going to be built around an entire city-wide festival of the works of Samuel Beckett. We are involving over 20 arts and education organizations from the period of late August through early November, all coordinating and producing works by or inspired by Samuel Beckett.
We’ll have our show, “Waiting for Godot” performed in cooperation with ACT Theatre at the Falls Theatre in early September. We’re very excited about the opportunity for us, as theatre artists, and all of Seattle as audience members to jointly explore this great and profoundly important writer’s work.
As an artistic director, what I get the great pleasure of doing, is giving other artists an opportunity to explore their passions. And the directors associated with the plays this year have, each of them, brought a particular excitement and a particular dream passion to each of these shows. Jon Kretzu doing “Twelfth Night” is getting a chance to explore some beautiful opulence and sort of faded glory and degradation all at the same time in his production of “Twelfth Night.”
Desdemona Chiang is an exceptionally talented and exciting director whose work with Azeotrope people may be familar with. She’s also got a great history with Shakespeare, and she is over the moon excited about “Measure for Measure.” She approached me about, when I met with her, because I think her talent is so great, I wanted her to get a chance to explore Shakespeare…the first show on her list was “Measure for Measure.”
Makeala Pollock who is directing “Tartuffe” is developing a passion for the works of Moliere. She recently directed “The Bourgeois Gentlemen” at Cornish College and is getting…is chomping at the bit to get some more of that Moliere wit and social commentary expressed in Seattle.
And the great John Langs, whose work we’ve enjoyed with “King Lear,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” has one of the strongest and most distinctive voices in Seattle theatre directing, and to bring it to bear upon this great play of jealousy and passion and deception is going to be right up his alley. I think it’s going to be flexing all the muscles that he has already finely developed.
There are going to be a lot of great plays that you’re going to want to see and a subscription is one of the best ways to ensure that you see every one of them.
Waiting for Godot – September 3-21, 2014
Twelfth Night – October 21-November 16, 2014
Measure for Measure – January 6-February 1, 2015
Tartuffe – March 17-April 12, 2015
Othello – April 22-May 10, 2015
Jennifer Lee Taylor and Matt Shimkus are matched as the argumentative and amorous couple Beatrice and Benedick in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s indoor season opener “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Artistic Director George Mount will stage the production set in a coastal resort area in 1953.
Taylor recently played Eliza Doolittle in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of “Pygmalion,” and Shimkus was Sir Andrew Augucheek in last summer’s “Gilligan’s Island” inspired Wooden O production of “Twelfth Night.”
Also cast in the “Much Ado About Nothing” company are Brenda Joyner (Hero), Jay Myers (Claudio), Peter Jacobs (Leonato), Jim Gall (Don Pedro), Nick Rempel (Don John), David Quicksall (Dogberry), Heather Persinger (Verges), Noah Greene (Borachio), Olivia Hartshorn (Margaret), Keith Dahlgren (Friar), and Bill Higham (Antonio).
“Much Ado About Nothing” runs Oct. 23 to Nov. 17. Tickets go on sale in mid-September.