Twelfth Night

Santiago Barajas, Writer

Everyone has been surprised by some unexpectedly humorous moments while watching a play—who couldn’t help but laugh as King George ludicrously sang “You’ll Be Back” in Hamilton? Even at school plays, the audience has spectated scenes that gave them a good laugh. But with the advent of the coronavirus, these moments of joy were stripped away from us as that loathsome bugbear suspended every activity in sight. Now a year later, on March 25th, Cistercian will endeavor to reestablish theater on campus in a rather unique fashion. Our upper school cast will soon debut Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, while still combating the various restrictions brought about by the pandemic in a creative way.

In these unprecedented times, the show is undertaking the audacious task of performing the play on the entrance steps into the campus’ main building, more than tripling the size of what the stage had previously been in the theater. Similar to the concept of a drive-in movie, the school’s parking lot and entrance will be turned into a “drive-in theater,” with the audience left to the comfort of their cars in the parking lot below. The play will be broadcasted on radio so that the audience will be able to hear the actors from their cars. This way, spectators will not be as tightly packed as in the theater and larger audiences could be present. So, as opposed to the couple performances the actors would typically undertake, the cast will endeavor to perform the play a total of four times, opening the show on March 25th, the Thursday after Spring Break, and finally closing the curtains on Sunday the 28th. Each ticket allows a car filled with as many people as it can reasonably fit to watch the play; however, over half of the tickets have already been purchased. I urge the reader, if you are interested in watching the play, to purchase the tickets as soon as possible before the show sells out.

Excitement runs through the theater as we head nearer to opening day. We, the cast (consisting of fifteen male actors and four female actresses), have carried out rehearsals for over a month. Our lines have been fixed in our minds, blocking has been perfectly executed, and the elaborate costumes and props have all been chosen and designed for each character and set. Masks, of course, must be worn during rehearsals, and currently we plan to continue wearing masks throughout the performances. A professional crew will accompany the cast on opening night, handling the lights and microphones to ensure an outstanding experience for the audience. Mrs. Magill, the director, has succeeded in creating a comical and entertaining play for the world to witness. With all these preparations in place, Twelfth Night will debut with a confident step, a precedent for future pandemic theater.

Twelfth Night will certainly be one of Cistercian’s greatest productions as it embraces the new changes brought by the pandemic, transforming the drawbacks into opportunities to expand the art of theater. With already over half of the tickets sold, the play will hopefully live up to its expectations and dominate the stage on opening night. Not only will the play deck the new stage with amusing songs and comical scenes, but it will also guide the audience through a journey brimming with love and duels, and beguilements and mistaken identities. Through the combined work of Mrs. Magill, the cast, and the crew, Twelfth Night will certainly be a night to remember.