We are nearing the end of our 4th week of Twelfth Night rehearsals, and it’s been quite a journey up until this point. It seems like just yesterday that we all sat down in a big circle of tables for our very first read-through. I will admit that, for me, Shakespeare’s First Folio terminology was a little bit intimidating at first! But now, we are well into rehearsals and have just surpassed our off-book date! Time really does fly, doesn’t it?
Shakespeare has created such a magical world within Twelfth Night. Some of us have read, studied and performed Shakespeare before, while others haven’t cracked a Shakes play since high school English class. One would think that this would make rehearsing particularly difficult, but actually, it hasn’t seemed to be much of a problem so far. I personally have only read a few of Shakespeare’s works, so at the time of casting, Twelfth Night was completely new to me. It’s so remarkable how quickly we can make a play our own, though. I really do feel like I’m in a family with this cast, and the wonderful playful spirit that we have toward the play is what makes the rehearsal process one of utmost adventure.
My favorite parts of the show are the intermittent musical numbers. Andrick (Feste) and Mackenzie (Fabiana) take turns strumming the guitar while the rest of us join in with group numbers and solos. Our songs travel through a large range of emotions. Some are light, joyful and even drunken, while others carry a heavier, more desperate tone. My favorite song is definitely “Catch This.” During this song, the characters of Feste, Maria, Toby, Andrew and Fabiana, otherwise known as the “clowns” of the play, are dancing freely around the room and indulging in a blissfully drunken state. I love the title of this song, because it makes each of our solos feel like a ball that is spontaneously being tossed to the other characters of the scene. It really is a lot of fun! And as our very own Duke Orsino says, “If music be the food of love, play on!”