Preview: Annual Shakespeare play to go on stage

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Leah Budson” align=”alignleft” width=”200″]Freshman Jane Maunsell rehearses for "Twelfth Night."[/media-credit]

Freshman Jane Maunsell rehearses for “Twelfth Night.”

by Leah Budson
Plays by Shakespeare—intimidating in their legacy and remarkable in their comedic and dramatic value—have been tackled jointly by Theatre Ink and South Stage every year since 1983, according to South Stage’s website.
This year, “Twelfth Night,” alternately titled “What You Will,” will go on stage Thursday, May 10 through Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the little theatre.
The show, a comedy, consists of a love triangle revolving around Viola, played by freshman Jane Maunsell. Viola is a woman disguised as a man throughout much of the show.
Director Meghan Kenny, who acts, directs and teaches theatre in the Boston area, said, “On the surface one could say that this is a funny show about mistaken identity, but I feel that the message goes much deeper. It opens up a conversation about the nature and turmoil of love.”
This theme “asks us to consider the benefits and consequences of our romantic choices,” according to Kenny.
“I’m always looking for opportunities to bring classic texts to modern audiences,” said Kenny when describing her motivations for directing “Twelfth Night.”
“For me, the comedic tone of the show mixed with the fast paced storyline is a fantastic challenge for a director.”
Being the only annual Theatre Ink production performed jointly with another school, Kenney said the process is unique, and “from the start, the actors have done an excellent job of coming together to create an exciting production.”
“There was so much talent from both schools that the casting process was anything but easy. In addition to that challenge, the text requires a set of twins and several musical actors.”
The need for performers with musical talent is a result of “the strong connection between text and music, which is a unique element of the show,” Kenney said.
“I hope the audience will be pleasantly surprised by the unique musical score and creative interpretation of each character, in addition to the overall design of the production,” she said.