Productions of Shakespeare plays are the thing this month. While students at Port Townsend High School are presenting “As You Like It,” two other Jefferson County student groups are performing productions of “Twelfth Night.”
The students of Olympic Peninsula HomeConnection (OPHC) are presenting their production this weekend and next. Students in the seventh- and eighth-grade class at Sunfield Waldorf School are performing the same play next weekend.
The productions are not related, but the directors chose the play for similar reasons, especially its cast of characters.
“I love ‘Twelfth Night’ because it blends comedy and melancholy,” said OPHC co-director Consuelo Brennan. “The concept of loss and hope weaves in and out, even when the zaniest of characters have taken over.”
MaryAnne Hinton, a teacher at Sunfield, also loves the play. “It is a charming, delightful, witty comedy with many juicy roles. This ensemble cast rehearses scene after scene of humorous interactions that offer profound lessons for the students.”
“Twelfth Night” is a story of mistaken identity, concealed truth and comic high jinks. The play centers around the character of Viola, who, after a shipwreck, is washed ashore on the beach of Illyria. Masquerading as a young man, she enters the service of Duke Orsino, who is in love with Lady Olivia. The Duke charges the disguised Viola to help him win Olivia’s hand. Olivia falls in love with the disguised Viola, who, in turn, has fallen in love with the Duke. So ensues a tangled love story, with a colorful cast of supporting characters.
“There is a great deal of physical comedy in this play that offers additional challenges to the cast,” said Hinton. “The students have been meeting every challenge with great verve and enthusiasm.”
Brennan said of her students, “(They) were excited to explore their characters’ physicality, and it’s always rewarding to see them use text as clues how to move and relate to each other.”
The OPHC actors, ranging in age from 9 to 14, are Ally Ferens, August Maberry, Filomena Bertucci, Gretel Maberry, Hayden Montgomery, Hunter James, Kai Campbell, Melody Douglas, Nola Bertucci, Owen Hatfield, Pascale Sanok, Peter Sanok, Sierra Douglas, Sophia Yates, TJ Brass, Victoria Brass and William DeJarnatt.
The stage crew includes Tenzin Blersch, Elijah Bufford, Luca Campbell, Zoey Ferens, Jack Hatfield, Ariel Nieman, Stan Raines. Zac Ferens, Viola Frank, Rowan Powell and Maria Powell provide music.
In addition to Brennan, the artistic staff includes Franco Bertucci, Carla Powell, Leah Brass and Cathy Adler.
Performances for the OPHC production are 7 p.m. May 11-12 at Chimacum Grange, 9572 Rhody Drive, and May 18-19 at Serendipity Farm, 141 Cemetery Road, Quilcene. Admission to all shows is by donation.
The Sunfield cast includes Sophia Patterson, Eli McGregor, Kenedi Cambra, Ben Martin, Roman Humphrey, Magdalena Grace, Wilder Lewis, Samuel Van Loon, Indigo Casad, Amapola Barber, Sophia Lumsdaine, Camryn Hines, Ella Suryan, Basil Lewis, Juniper Cervenka and Sophia Arnovitz.
Performances for that show are 7 p.m., May 17 and 19 at the Chimacum Grange. Admission to those performances are by donation.