RCC takes on Shakespeare

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By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer

By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer

Mistaken identity, romance and comical misunderstandings sounds like something out of a modern day romantic comedy. However, this is the story of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

Off Broadway Play Series presented Shakespeare’s story about twin-siblings, Viola and Sebastian, (Sallie Griffin and Christopher Renfro) who were separated from each other by a storm off the coast of the kingdom of Illyria.

Now separated from her brother, Viola decides to disguise herself as a boy so she can find work with the Duke of Illyria, Orsino (Jordan Maxwell).

As the Duke’s underling, Viola, now under the alias Cesario, and is sent to the countess Olivia, (Hayley Rubin) the duke’s neighbor and love interest, to deliver messages of love to the countess to woo her, but things start to get complicated as Olivia instead falls for Viola.

As the story progresses things start to complicate even further as Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother, enters the scene and starts confusion between the other characters, for often times they think they are talking to one of the twins but are in fact talking to the other, so some information may be lost or jumbled.

As the play concludes the twins are again reunited and most of the confusion that occurs within the play is resolved leading to a happy ending.

The performance of the play was pretty accurate with the text and the actors did really well, filling the shoes of the characters that they were portraying, their personalities and personas perfectly.

The characters on stage were really fun to watch as they were full of life.

One such example was Sir Toby Belch (played by Scotty Farris), a sort of devious drunken uncle kind of character, stumbling around as he walked around drinking wine straight off of his bottle.

Other actors played instruments, acted clumsy, or sang which added a lot to the play and made it enjoyable to watch.

The stage design of the play was very simple but very well done.

The stage was rounded with the audience surrounding it on three sides.

From there the actors would come and go from three areas around the audience.

Behind the stage there was a lovely backdrop of a cliffside surrounded by waves that added location to the play.

On stage there was nothing more than three little bench-like structures that would move around from scene to scene to represent a different place or time.

The transitions of these scenes would be hidden by a little comical skit of a woman and a man moving the benches around.

At first they would not notice each other, but they steadily start to grow fond of each other, eventually falling for each other.

Although this design worked, it wasn’t without its flaws.

For example, since there was only one back drop and nothing more than benches on the stage, it was difficult to tell where the characters were in respect to the play.

Also the little skit that appeared in-between scene changes, although comical, felt out of place.

Besides these minor gripes with design, the play was a pretty well done retelling of Shakespeare’s story.

It was very comedic and the actors did a really good job performing their parts.

However, this play may not be for everyone due to the  sometimes confusing nature of Shakespeare’s language.

But for those who love to watch or read plays this one is definitely worth seeing.

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