Twelfth Night


DREAMY DRAMA: (from left to right) the characters Andrew and Toby discuss with Fabian the plans they have to trick Malvolio. The trio of students performed the Shakespearean play, “Twelfth Night.” “Twelfth Night,” written in the early 1600s, returned to the modern stage in November with new costumes, sets, and lighting and gave a modern comedic twist on this classical comedy. photo by Katie Busby.

Lasya Sangana, Staffer

As the third semester at LASA’s new campus comes to an end, the Raptors have accomplished many milestones and produced various events including club activities, musical concerts, and pep rallies. Among the many is the Alley Cat Players production of LASA’s very own fall play, “Twelfth Night”.

Over the weekends of Nov. 4 and Nov 12, LASA theater’s “Twelfth Night” play took place in the LASA theater. “Twelfth Night” is  a romantic comedy written by Shakespeare, describing the aftermath of a shipwreck where the lead, Viola, thinks her twin brother is dead. As a result, Viola goes to infiltrate the court of Duke Orsino and is forced to woo Lady Olivia under the Duke’s command. However, Lady Olivia falls in love with the disguised Viola. Senior Samantha Mason played Lady Olivia and was surprised by the  love triangle that ensues as a result. 

“It’s really funny,” Mason said. “It’s shockingly funny for a Shakespearean comedy.” 

Mason said she was very excited for everyone to see the play, especially due to the fact that LASA theater has not done a lot of Shakespeare before, and Mason predicted that the show would be entertaining. However, Mason said there were some challenges to trying out a new form of theater. 

“The biggest difficulty with the play we had is the fact that it is Shakespeare,” Mason said. “ Most of the people don’t have a lot of experience performing Shakespeare.” 

Shakespeare originally wrote “Twelfth Night” in the early 1600s, and the language is different from modern day. Mason said that because of the play’s difficult language, more experienced theater members helped the inexperienced. 

“Mr. Escandell, and a couple other people who have more experience with performing Shakespearean plays have done a really great job of trying to help the younger people,” Mason said. “[It’s been helpful for those] who may not have as much experience.”

Mason said another difficulty this year was that they had a new director, Jason Escandell, one of LASA’s sophomore English teachers. Mason said Escandell amazingly got everyone together, which is a notable feat especially for such a large company with a play of this scale, something especially hard to do as a brand new director. 

“I’m excited for people just to see the work that especially Mr. Escandell has done as an incoming brand new director brand new to the program,” Mason said. “He worked really hard.”

Mason said that Escandell had very valuable Shakespearean knowledge and was great about helping the young performers perfect their scenes. Sophomore Piper Chen, who played Viola,  the lead, said another challenge that arose this year which was working with new people.

“It’s been really new with all of the freshmen that are coming in because last year we didn’t have a lot of [people] because the program was a lot smaller,” Chen said. “It’s weird, having all of these new people come in, and then having a new director on top of that, and having the upperclassmen manage a lot of it.”

Freshman Zoe Tice, who plays a jester, said she also felt that way. Tice says that she had trouble acclimating to the new environment. 

“Getting comfortable with everybody was a little weird at first,” Tice said. “I don’t know, upperclassmen can be scary.”

Chen adds onto this saying although the  newness has been difficult, she’s very excited about everyone seeing the play because LASA isn’t usually known for its theater. Chen said with the possibility of English extra credit, more people were interested in going though. 

“LASA isn’t really known for great theater,” Chen said. “With the draw of the English extra credit, that might be a majority of the people going there.” 

In order to receive extra credit, students had to watch the play, write a few paragraphs about it, and then they would receive five extra points on their  lowest quiz grade. However, Chen says even if the main draw was extra credit, students would hopefully leave with a better experience and mindset about the play.

“I think that they’re gonna be pleasantly surprised,” Chen said. “Although Shakespeare’s talk is hard to understand, and they’re not going to know what it is, I think just general body language and voice is enough.” 

Tice agreed with Chen . She felt that even if students were not used to Shakespeare, they could still understand what the actors were saying. 

“It’s good for most people,” Tice said. “ Don’t go into it thinking that you’re going to understand every single thing that’s happening because the words are a little weird, but I feel like most people will get the gist of it.”

Mason and Chen both said that it took a lot of practice and work and that they have been doing rehearsals since Sept. to nail down the play. They originally had two rehearsals a week, but as it got closer to opening night, students practiced five times a week. Tice said that rehearsals were actually one of her favorite parts of being in the play.

“I really liked the games, so we played after we practiced,” Tice said. “We did dodgeball, which was actually kind of scary because the stage manager is  really scary when you play dodgeball, but we also did trivia, which was fun.”

Tice, however, said that the theater department did have a problem for a bit related to the location of the rehearsals. According to Tice, rehearsals weren’t consistently on the stage. 

“We had a week and a half period where there were guitar things going on in the theater, so [rehearsal] was the jazz room instead, and that was really weird to practice not on the stage,” Tice said. “That was a hurdle because then some of our practices got canceled because of that, so we had a little less time in practice, but I think it worked out fine.”

Tice also said that another particular hurdle was that on opening night for the second half of the play they had a leak at the side of the theater. Despite the challenges, Tice said she hoped people enjoyed the show. In particular, Tice said that being in the play this semester was a fun experience. 

“I think it’s been a good way for me to make friends [and] see what LASA of theater is about,” Tice said. “I think it was a good introduction to the theater. ”

With the end of the fall play, the theater program is getting ready for the next few plays as well. Auditions for “Into the Woods” were on Dec. 6, and auditions for the one act play “Wit” were on Dec. 7.