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RCC Theater Arts to Present 'Twelfth Night'

The Rogue Community College Theater Arts department will take the stage this spring with a presentation of "Twelfth Night," a Shakespearean comedy about love, mistaken identity and gender confusion.

“I am struck by how 'Twelfth Night,' which was written 400 years ago, has elements of gender identity and sexual orientation – issues that are very much in the forefront of today’s world,” said director Cil Stengel. “The jokes too, while being centuries old, are still funny today. Rehearsals have been a blast.”

The play will run three weekends, May 17 through June 1, at the Rogue Performance Hall on the Riverside Campus, 130 E. Eighth St., Medford. The cast includes RCC students and alumni, as well as community members.

Evening performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 17 through June 1. Saturday matinees will begin at 2 p.m. May 18, 25 and June 1. A pay-what-you-can preview performance will be at 7:30 p.m. May 16. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime.

Admission is $14 for adults and $7 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the door, or in advance at the RCC bookstores in both Grants Pass and Medford, or online at www.eventbrite.com (search RCC Theater). There is no presale for the May 16 preview.

For more information, contact Cil Stengel at 541-608-4401 or email cstengel@roguecc.edu.  

 
ABOUT 'TWELFTH NIGHT'

One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, "Twelfth Night" is a story of people longing for love, and mistaken identities are one of the elements that make this play a comedy. The story centers on twins Viola and Sebastian; separated at sea during a storm, each believes the other is dead.

Viola disguises herself as a man in order to survive alone in Elizabethan times. She – now dressed as a man and going by the name Cesario – finds work with the Duke Orsino, who takes an instant liking to Cesario, not realizing that he’s a she. The duke confides in Cesario, and at some point begins to be attracted to her, but can’t acknowledge it because he thinks she’s a young man.

The plot thickens when Orsino sends Cesario to give a message of love to the Lady Olivia, whom he’s pursuing. Olivia initially wants nothing to do with Orsino or any other man, but this all changes when she meets Cesario and immediately falls in love with him (who’s really a her!).

The story takes another turn when twin brother Sebastian shows up. Olivia pursues Sebastian, thinking this is Cesario (since Viola disguised as a man is a dead match for her brother). Sebastian is initially confused by Olivia’s advances, yet decides to go along since she’s beautiful and quite wealthy.

To add to the chaos, when Sebastian was first lost at sea, he was saved from the storm by the pirate Antonio who has fallen in love with him. Later, Antonio is devastated that Sebastian doesn’t recognize him when he intervenes in a duel – of course, the person he thinks is Sebastian is really the sister!

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