From March 21-25, Stage Left (the CSC theatre club) will be presenting the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night’s main plot takes place in the fantasy land of Illyria. The characters are involved in a comedic spin on a love triangle and “all kinds of mistaken identity wackiness,” said Harry MacEnerny, who is the director and has been working with Stage Left for 10 years.Many of the actors feel that the play is difficult to work with. Jesse Durona, who plays Sir Toby, said it’s challenging, but more rewarding. “I feel I understand Shakespeare a bit more”.
Because of the challenging aspects of the play the actors have to prepare themselves more.
“Every play has a different set of challenges” McEnerny said. Most of the actors have said that the dialogue was the biggest issue. Adam Desautels, who is performing for the first time here at CSC in the role of Antonio, said “learning the lines was probably the hardest part”.
McEnerny noted that the biggest challenge of this play is the language barrier. He sat down with each individual actor and went over their lines to find their meaning. He wanted to make sure the actors knew how to “give [the dialogue] an action and a purpose.” If the actors understand what the lines mean then they will have an easier time getting the audience to know what they are saying.
Jonathon White, who plays Sebastian, has acted in two other performances at CSC. White has a different view on working with the Shakespearian language, “Typically I find Shakespeare easier to memorize because the prose are like song lyrics”.
Beyond studying her lines, Joanna Cardillo who plays the part of the servant in her second CSC play, said she also does crunches, breath of fire (a yoga breathing exercise) and she has to practice laughing uncontrollably.
Elsa Mclaughlan, who plays Viola and is also in her second CSC play, said it is important to understand the lines and to give an accurate performance because, “People take Shakespeare like the Bible”.
Twelfth Night might be a challenging play, but McEnerny said, “It’s important for actors to experience Shakespeare.at college we should do challenging material”.
The biggest point that the actors and director wanted to tell everyone was that the audience should leave what they already know about Shakespeare outside of the theatre.
” People need to take it for what it is [and] set aside a set disposition,” said Cardillo.
“Don’t have reservations about Shakespeare, have an open mind,” White said.
McEnerny supported his actors saying, ” We are working hard to get rid of preconceived notions. You should be open-minded about it. You may enjoy this.”
Talking about the process of putting the play together McEnerny said, “It’s been a great challenge. I’ve had a wonderful time.