In Shakespeare’s Britain, on the twelfth night after Christmas, wild, raucous, and inclusive parties were enjoyed by many. Over-the-top, lasting until dawn, and full of food, drink, and festivity, barriers did not exist. On this one night secret affections could be declared (and sometimes explored). At least, that’s what some historians tell us. Others question just how widespread such Twelfth Night festivals were. Regardless of historical accuracy, Shakespeare certainly used the tradition as an idea and theme for this play. He even included as part of the full title of the play the phrase “What You Will.”
We have embraced this as metaphor, attempting to be faithful to Shakespeare’s work as we interpret it for our time and place. There are elements of comedy, tragedy, love lost, love won, and surprises all along the way. This story is a party that tries to include everyone. Sometimes that inclusion takes the form of shared love; sometimes that inclusion takes more of a competitive and antagonistic tenor. But everyone is included: even you. You are invited to not just watch the story, but to participate in it. Join the party; come along for the ride. Our company of players have a story to tell, and you get to watch, experience, and maybe even be inspired to sing and dance … or, what you will.
Brian Niece, Director