UVU’s Twelfth Night brings laughter to the outdoors

UVU’s School of the Arts presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, making use of the Noorda courtyard for the first time.

Feste the Clown (Maren Lethbridge) teaches the audience. Photo by Jonah Hokit

A must see show

For the debut of the outdoor theater alone this show is a must-see. With the efforts of these actors though, if you haven’t seen UVU’s Twelfth Night, you are going to want to get on that now.

An outdoor transportation

When sitting outside the front doors and tall windows of the new Noorda Performing Arts building; the audience becomes transported to the time Shakespeare wrote. In this time the whole town gathered outdoors to enjoy the theater. This show makes for a night enjoyed with minimal use of fancy lights or spectacle but simple and pure old school theater, dependent on the talent of UVU students.

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Shakespeare’s great Twelfth Night tells the story of twin brother and sister caught in a shipwreck. The sister Viola, thinking that her brother is dead, attempts to make a name for herself in the new town by dressing as a boy and serving the Duke. Hilarity ensues as Viola tries to assist the Duke to obtain the love of Lady Olivia.

A talented group

Director Chase Grant keeps true to traditional Shakespeare with a few modern twists relating to the Utah County audience. Even with the old language, this cast keeps the evening lively. Sir Toby, played by Sam Kleyh, and Sir Andrew, played by Josh Needles, do an outstanding job keeping the audience rolling with laughter the entire night.

Sir Toby (Sam Kleyh) with his drink, photo by Jonah Hokit

The chemistry of the entire ensemble is electric, each living in Shakespeare’s universe the whole time. Without a physical stage, the actors can not break character at any time. Waiting for their time to enter a scene, they can be seen genuinely living as Viola or Feste the Clown. This staging adds layers of realism and excitement. The audience is adopted into the land of Illyria to join the lives going on there.

Duke Orsino (Colt Brown) and Viola (Kat Hawley), photo by Jonah Hokit

Kat Hawley’s take on Viola is captivating as she commands the language bringing grace to her boyish role. The chemistry between Hawley and Colt Brown’s Duke Orsino is both real and radiating, allowing the audience to consider their romance and desire to up the bar.

Tickets: $5 General Public, $3 Students, $4 Group Rate (Sets of 10) 

The Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, 800 W University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058

Runs September 5-7, 12-14, 2019, starting at 7:30 PM

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