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ND Shakespeare Festival returns with “Twelfth Night”

Genna McCabe | Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) is an often overlooked and underappreciated organization on this campus. No doubt it has its loyal fans, but it seems that the vast majority of students are either unaware or uninterested in the acting troupe. And this is certainly a shame.

The NDSF has worked to bring in actors from many highly regarded theatre groups in cities such as London and New York. By bringing together a host of talent, the NDSF has managed to establish a strong tradition of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, not only making the Bard more accessible to students and the greater South Bend community, but also encouraging a continued appreciation of Shakespeare in terms of his influence on the humanities and the liberal arts.

This year marks the 10th year for the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival and they are starting it off with a bang. Their first performance of the year is “Twelfth Night.” Running through Sunday, it is one of Shakespeare’s better-known comedies, and has been the basis for several more current works, including the 2007 film “She’s the Man.” A tale of confusing love triangles and plenty of cross-dressing, “Twelfth Night” promises to supply entertainment.

The story line centers on a set of shipwrecked twins who lose contact with one another. Viola, believing her twin brother Sebastian is dead, disguises herself as a servant boy and falls in love with Duke Orsino, the man she serves. To make matters even more complicated, the Duke is in love with Lady Olivia, who only has eyes for Viola dressed as a page boy. The plot twists and turns, leaving the audience slightly puzzled at times and offering many laughs and awkward situations. The fun along the way certainly makes it worth seeing.

Anything put on by the NDSF is certain to be a quality performance, so take advantage of this fantastic resource on campus. There is no better time to experience Shakespeare than when it is presented by a talented and capable group such as the NDSF. On top of that, “Twelfth Night” is an excellent way to experience Shakespeare while enjoying yourself and having a few laughs.