Tickets Still Available for Touring Performance of Shakespeare’s Comedy TWELFTH NIGHT

Feb. 7, 2014


Viola in the WaterBy Terry Pace, Communications and Marketing

FLORENCE, Ala. – Tickets are still on sale for next week’s performance of William Shakespeare’s enduring comedy Twelfth Night (or, What You Will) on the University of North Alabama campus.

The world-renowned Aquila Theatre Company will present its touring production of the Bard’s early 17th-century work – an inspired mixture of love, lust, laughter, gender confusion and mistaken identities – for one performance only at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at Norton Auditorium.

The annual UNA appearance by Aquila’s traveling troupe of players preserves a lively, longstanding theatrical tradition in the Shoals. The New York-based professional acting company presents a full-scale Shakespearean production at Norton each spring semester through the Albert S. Johnston Endowment in the UNA Department of English. Their previous performances include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing and other time-honored titles.

“I've seen Shakespeare done live now in three different countries, performed by some of the best and most famous Shakespeare companies, and in my opinion Aquila is world-class,” according to Dr. Lesley Peterson, an associate professor of English who teaches Shakespeare at UNA. “We are incredibly lucky to have them come here.”

Originally written as Candlemas entertainment at the close of the Christmas season, Twelfth Night (first performed in 1602) takes place in the mythical world of Illyria. Shakespeare’s hot-blooded comedy follows the amorous misadventures of a shipwrecked girl who disguises herself as a man in order to be nearer to the count she adores – only to be aggressively pursued by the woman that the count himself loves. The play begins with one of the Bard’s most famous lines, “If music be the food of love, play on …”

“Before the first line is even delivered, the atmosphere immediately draws attention,” theatre critic Emily Cao of D.C. Metro Theatre Arts wrote after an October 2013 Aquila performance of Twelfth Night in Washington, D.C.. “The stage is filled with eerie blue lighting, backdropped in flickering water projections, with hanging thick floor-to-ceiling ropes reminiscent of a ship’s deck. This unique interpretation of the setting of the first scene is put to thumping, bass-heavy electro-house music, puzzling audiences as to whether they have mistakenly entered into a rave. But once the performance began it was clear that at the heart of the special effects still lay the essence of Shakespeare’s beloved story that has inspired countless books, adaptations and films.”

Admission to Twelfth Night is $10 for general admission and $5 for students. Tickets are available in advance at the UNA Bookstore, Pegasus Records, Tapes and CDs and the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts, all in Florence, and at Coldwater Books in Tuscumbia. For more information, call the UNA Office of University Events at 256-765-4658.

Three high-resolutions photos from Aquila's production of Twelfth Night are available for media use on the UNA Gallery at these links: 
http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/photo.php?id=10218
http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/photo.php?id=10219
http://www.unalionsden.com/archive/photo.php?id=10220