Shakespeare: From the 17th Century to the 1970s

12168331_1651620638440090_1063811713_oAntonio and Sebastian sporting the “bell-bottoms” look. Photocred: ISP

After a study-filled Saturday, sporting the same pajamas I had worn to bed the night before, I shuffled into the auditorium with a cup ramen in one hand and a cookie in the other. IMSA’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night proved to be just the wake-up I needed from the lethargy of the weekend.

A colorful, eccentric twist to an already-twisty Shakespearean play, this 70s themed show brought a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my stomach. IMSA’s take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night blossomed into more than just a tale depicting the ultimate love-triangle. Set in a re-imagined Illyria, a turn of events prompts the darling Viola to transform into the dashing Cesario, who happens to accidentally woo the young Olivia. However, Viola, who is actually Cesario, while acting as as Orsino’s messenger, falls in love with Orsino. Meanwhile, Illyria hosts an array of other vibrant characters including those of Olivia’s household and the lost twin brother of Viola, Sebastian. All of these characters and more tied together into an amusing, intriguing story.

Kate Kwasneski, a drama club member, commented on the production of the play, “Even though I wasn’t in this one [performance-wise], I felt some of the same excitement that I felt when I was in The Robbers.” Sean Ngo, an audience member, claimed, “I haven’t seen many plays, but this [play] was brighter and livelier than the others.”

The cute, colorful backdrop and props lightened the mood, and even as mishaps came about, no gloomy moment dampened the aura of the play. I loved the flamboyance -and in the case of the parachute pants, buoyancy- of the costumes. Each outfit brought a snippet of a character that paralleled with the play, but still corresponded with the aesthetics drawn from the 70s.  I was quite impressed by the attitude and articulation projected by the performers. Acting in a Shakespearean play is no easy feat, but I believed in the aptitude of the actors.  The delivery of the lines seldom fell short of my expectations.

It’s a tradition that IMSA’s drama club stage a Shakespearean show every three years. This year’s performance carried through successfully in my eyes and those of the many other audience members. Arts and performance at IMSA always carry with them a cozy sort of feeling, the kind that reminds me that even as a math and science school, we aren’t just a school. Passions other than math or science drive us forward. As a community, we should take the chances given to us to exhibit our other talents. IMSA’s drama production of Twelfth Night was an overall entertaining experience; I hope everyone has the chance to catch a glimpse of IMSA’s artistic side in whatever way they can.

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