October 17, 2008

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — William Shakespeare's classic comedy "Twelfth Night" will open the 2008-09 season of theatre and dance performances at Bucknell University.

The play, a tale of unrequited love and mistaken identity complete with a happy ending, will be presented Oct. 24 through 27 at 8 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall. The play is directed by Matthew Toronto, visiting assistant professor of theatre.

Tickets for this performance, part of the University's Homecoming Weekend celebration, are $8 per person, $6 for students and senior citizens.

Tickets are available from the campus box office in the Weis Center weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; from the Elaine Langone Center box office in the Bookstore weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; or by visiting www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice.xml.

photo credit: Ryan ShovlinHoliday celebration
"Twelfth Night" takes its name from a holiday celebration during the Christmas season in Shakespeare's lifetime, according to Toronto. "Our setting is a party that never ends for the revelers—Toby and Andrew, Maria and Feste—who, by drinking obsessively and playing endless pranks, avoid returning to whatever awaits them in their regular lives.

"Malvolio daydreams of being lifted from his lowly station, and into the arms of the beautiful Olivia. Duke Orsino, also in love with Olivia, escapes into the music of his love for her, and into the pose of a Petrarchan lover. Olivia's extended mourning for the death of her brother is both escape and trap; like Orsino, she is imprisoned by a set of conventions. When Viola emerges from the sea — also mourning a brother — she escapes the pain of losing him by assuming his likeness.

"In a typical romantic comedy, tyrannical fathers or a cruel society thwart the desires of the young and ardent. Only Sebastian and Viola, the miraculously identical boy-girl twins, can bring an end to the deliriously confused erotic chases that ensue and free these prisoners of the heart," he said.

The Bucknell production includes assistant direction by Richard Biever, scene design by F. Elaine Williams, costume design by Jenny Kenyon, lighting design and technical direction by Heath Hansum, and assistant technical direction by Margo-Layne Glickman.

Toronto, who is an assistant professor of theatre at Penn State University, also is the associate artistic director of the Penn State New Musical Theatre Festival. Most recently he directed the world premiere of the musical "Ordinary Days" at Pennsylvania Centre Stage. This spring he will direct "The Foreigner" at the Fulton Opera House. 

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