“Twelfth Night”

It’s been six years since the Yosemite High School Drama Department has produced a play by William Shakespeare, and YHS drama instructor-director Lars Thorson felt it was time again after a number of well-received musicals.

Yosemite drama students took on the challenge of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” with four performances Nov. 19-22.

In a seaside setting during the roaring 1920s, “Twelfth Night” follows a shipwrecked girl named Viola (played by Olivia Pearson and Katelyn Suderman on alternate nights), who chooses to dress as a man and work for Duke Orsino (Jonathan Wharton). The Duke loves the rich Olivia (Maya Mendonca and Sophia O’Meara on alternate nights), and sends his cross-dressed servant Cesario (Olivia Pearson and Katelyn Suderman on alternate nights) as an intermediary to profess his love for her. The servant falls for the Duke, the rich woman falls for the servant, and all sorts of mistaken identity comedy follows.

“Shakespeare retains his importance as a writer because of his language, and it is best to allow his words to wash over you and not try to decipher exactly what each lines means,” Thorson said. “”Twelth Night” is considered a more modern Shakespeare play because of how he bends gender roles. Girls disguise themselves as boys, men are attracted to other men or woman dressed as men ... it can be confusing. I believe he is teaching us that love knows no bounds and can come at us in unexpected ways when we are least prepared for it. Hopefully our actor’s performances clarified some things and allowed the audience to follow the twisting plot.”

Additional parts were played by Jesse Villa-Martinez, Gianna DeFelice, Elsie Keeler, Alex Wiliams, Jocelyn Boe, Tyler Pierce, Breeze Leal, Kevin Kirk, Tyler Wallace, Paul Esposito, Kimiko Smith, Evan Diehl, and Gregory Royse.

Next up for the Yosemite thespians is “Trixie The Teenage Detective,” a comic mystery, Feb. 26 and 27. That will be followed by two senior project one act plays - “The Yellow Wallpaper,” based on the novel by Charlotte Perkins, and “Chamber Music,” by Arthur Kopit - two plays that explore feminist themes in comic and dramatic ways, March 12-14.

- Staff Report