All-new Production of ‘Twelfth Night’ to Play Outdoors at Irvington’s O’Hara Nature Center August 6-22
By Brad Ogden–
The Irvington Shakespeare Company is Irvington Theater’s newest Arts Partner, and the two companies are kicking off their creative partnership with a co-production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night this summer from August 6 through 22.
Staged outdoors among the lush forests and gardens of the O’Hara Nature Center in Irvington, Twelfth Night finds twins Sebastian and Viola separated after a shipwreck. Believing her brother to be dead (hint: he isn’t) and determined to survive on her own, Viola takes on a disguise to begin working as a servant for Orsino, Duke of Illyria. It’s not long before Viola catches feelings for Orsino, but Orsino’s in love with Countess Olivia; this triangle serves as the foundation for the play’s timeless humor and madcap exploration of identity and unrequited love.
This brand new, 90-minute production highlights the rich history of Irvington through a distinctly genderqueer lens, with live music from a Rip Van Winkle-inspired Feste helping to weave the magical tale of self-discovery, survival, and the myriad ways love shows itself.
“For me, this is a play where each character yearns to find a sense of belonging and acceptance for who they are and who they choose to love,” says Twelfth Night director Irene Lazaridis. “It’s a celebration of life, shining a light on the people we hold near and dear to each other. I hope you can join us this summer to celebrate the beauty of love and inclusivity in this magical land of Illyria.”
The Bard’s classic comedy will spring to life with a professional cast that includes Kat Quiñones as Viola, Dani Palmer as Olivia, Jack Saleeby as Orsino, Sage Newman as Sebastian, Sophia Metcalf as Feste, and Stephanie Moreno as Antonio/Maria. Kamran Saliani, lifelong Irvington resident and Artistic Director of the Irvington Shakespeare Company, stars as Malvolio.
Also the company founder, Saliani hopes to give back to his hometown by creating a community around classics: “Shakespeare wrote from a Eurocentric viewpoint in a time when only men could play the roles. His work was not exactly a beacon of inclusivity. Now, top that off with complex plot lines, poetic and confusing old English language, and we know why watching Shakespeare can seem like work to many.”
The production features costumes designed by Grace Jeon and dramaturgy by Jessica Ward. Jonah Scott and Sierra Scott serve as co-music directors. Amanda Brown stage manages.
Join Irvington Theater and the Irvington Shakespeare Company for Twelfth Night from August 6-22 at the O’Hara Nature Center, located at 170 Mountain Road, Irvington, NY 10533. Parking is available but limited; carpooling is encouraged. Performances take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at 7:00pm; gates open at 6:30pm. All tickets are free but must be reserved in advance at irvingtontheater.com/twelfthnight.
The Irvington Shakespeare Company produces professional theatre that showcases local talent in Westchester and the greater Hudson Valley. ISC takes steps to ensure that their productions are inclusive and physically accessible by producing plays through an anti-racist, intersectional lens and decolonizing Shakespeare’s works for all audiences to engage with and enjoy.
Irvington Theater is home to a diverse range of innovative programming that entertains, enlightens, and inspires, establishing itself over its 119-year history as the cultural heart of the Rivertowns. Their current season, #IrvingtonAnywhere, features both in-person and online streaming events.