April 11, 2013

Dalton State brings Shakespeare to life

Submitted by Dalton State College

— William Shakespeare’s comical farce “Twelfth Night” will be performed at Dalton State College in a production featuring students, faculty and staff that Director Jackie Daniels said is “every bit as relevant and funny today as it was when first presented in Elizabethan England.”

The play opens Thursday, April 18, and runs through Sunday, April 21, in the Goodroe Auditorium of Gignilliat Memorial Hall. Admission is free for anyone with a Dalton State ID and $5 for everyone else. It begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Seating is first come, first served. Those with questions are invited to call (706) 272-2985.

The fun begins when themes of unrequited love, mistaken identity, familial irritabilities, confusion and chaos all converge on the idyllic island of Illyria.

“The pacing is fast, the situation is outrageous, the obstacles seemingly insurmountable and the comedy non-stop,” Daniels said. “I predict laughter. Loud and contagious laughter.”

The story begins when the hapless Viola washes ashore in Illyria following a shipwreck she believes claimed the life of her twin brother. Finding herself a stranger in a strange land, Viola disguises herself as a man named Cesario and goes to work in service to Orsino, the duke and ruler of Illyria.

Poor Orsino carries a torch for the Countess Olivia who won’t give him the time of day. He sends his faithful servant Cesario (really Viola) with a message for his beloved Olivia who in turn falls in love with Viola who she thinks is a man, while Viola falls in love with Orsino.

To add to the mix, Viola’s long-lost and presumed drowned twin brother joins in, along with a rowdy, drunken uncle, a foolish knight, a pompous servant, a witty fool and a scheming servant woman.

Insanity ensues.

For the first time, Daniels opened auditions to the entire Dalton State community and cast students, faculty and staff among the players. The cast includes students Alyssa Stromley as Viola and Cesario, Philip Sudburg as Orsino, Savannah McCroy as Olivia, Sean Self as Sebastian, Gabriel Alvarado as Malvolio, Scott Reese as Feste the Fool, Josh Beard as Sir Toby Belch, Josh Boling as Antonio and Ashley Yother as Valentine.

Faculty and staff members of the cast include Clint Kinkead as Sir Andrew, Nancy Mason as Fabian, Assistant Professor Jerry Drye as the Captain and the Priest, and Laurie Raper as Maria.

Daniels is assisted by Ashley Yother, assistant director; Amanda Voyles, costume designer; and Katherine Fromm, sound technician and understudy for the role of Olivia. Design and construction crew members include Clay Pettigrew, Valerie Childers, Edith Sanchez, Robert Curtin, Haley Fenley, Raven Hix and Jessica Binkerd.