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Act 1 Presents Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”

by Tom McNamara ’92, M’21 Feb 13, 2024
Twelfth Night Promo

Pictured left to right: Christian Tuffy as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Samir Brown as Sir Toby Belch in Act 1’s production of “Twelfth Night.” Photo by Jack Lerch.

Act 1 DeSales University Theatre is pleased to announce the production of what “The Guardian” calls “Shakespeare’s most perfect comedy,” “Twelfth Night.”

The show opens on Wednesday, February 21, and runs until Sunday, March 3, on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts.

“Twelfth Night” tells the story of Viola, shipwrecked and rescued to the town of Illyria, where she disguises herself as a man to serve the court of Duke Orsino. The Duke has Viola bring messages to the noble Olivia, whom he loves. Olivia however, in grief over the death of her brother, proclaims she will not love anyone for seven years—even though she begins to fall for the disguised Viola. 

Meanwhile, one of Shakespeare’s more memorable comedic characters, Sir Toby Belch, plots to embarrass Olivia’s head servant, the pompous Malvolio. Filled with sly humor, deceptions, mistaken identities, all commentated on by a very wise fool, “Twelfth Night” is an enjoyable romp, perfect to chase away the winter blues. 

“I am thrilled to bring 'Twelfth Night' to life for the Act 1 audience. Featuring some of Shakespeare's most hilarious clowns and memorable characters, the plot is a journey through love and laughter and laughter in love.” 

 Jessica Bedford, artistic director, assistant professor of theatre, and director of the production

James Raymond, visiting assistant professor and scenic designer for the production, created the town and the estates of Illyria through the lens of the 1950s. Longtime Act 1 costume designer Deborah Burrill designed the midcentury modern costumes, and Josiane Jones is the production manager. Eric T. Haugen, assistant professor and head of design, serves as lighting designer, while Jonathan Cannon is the sound designer. Cannon and Abby Jeanne, who plays Feste, adapted music for the production.

“Twelfth Night” opens on Wednesday, February 21, and runs through Sunday, March 3, 2024. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m., and one performance on Monday, February 26, at 9:45 a.m. Ticket prices are $23 for adults and $21 for students and seniors Tuesday through Thursday and $27 for adults and $25 for students and seniors Friday through Sunday. There are two talk-back performances with the cast on Sunday, February 25, immediately following the matinee performance and Monday, February 26, following the 9:45 a.m. performance. The production is recommended for ages 12 and up.

Students who attend DeSales or any other Lehigh Valley college or university can purchase tickets for $8. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center Box Office at 610-282-3192.

To improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, March 2, 7:30 p.m. performance will feature Open Captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing and Audio Descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During Open Captioned performances, all dialogue and sound effects are presented in real-time on an LED screen that is adjacent to the stage.

During Audio Described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset. Tickets are half price for patrons using these special services on this date. Please call the Box Office at 610-282-3654, ext. 1, for more information.