The Harrison High School Playhouse proudly presented William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (or What Your Will.) Students performed on Friday, November 1st, Saturday, November 2nd, and Sunday, November 3rd at the Harrison High School Performing Arts Center. Friends, family, faculty, administrators and members of the Harrison community thoroughly enjoyed the spirited performances.
Shakespeare’s plays have been taught at Harrison High School, and in classrooms around the country for years because of their exemplary use of language and timeless themes. Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies, includes many of his signature comic tropes, including unrequited love, cross-dressing, and mistaken identity. After last year’s dramatic production of The Laramie Project, Nina Haberli, HHS Playhouse club advisor and Harrison High School theater teacher wanted to mount something comic. She selected Twelfth Night because, “It shows just how ridiculous human beings can be sometimes. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves once in a while.”
Twelfth Night opens with the Duke of Illyria (Peter Neuerther), pining over Countess Olivia (Mia Altamuro.) Alas, the countess will have none of him. Meanwhile, the almost identical, except for their gender, twins, Viola (Paige Pezzella ) and Sebastian (Angel Aguilar) are separated by a shipwreck and find themselves in Illyria.Viola dresses as a man, calls herself Cesario, and goes to work for the Duke, with whom she falls in love. The Duke, however, sends Viola to woo Olivia on his behalf, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario. Meanwhile, Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby (Cameron McClean) entertains the foolish Sir Andrew (Joanna Howson), who also wishes to marry Olivia. They are joined by Fabian (Simona Forgione) and Olivia’s servant Mariah (Lorena Ramirez) to play a practical joke on Olivia’s stern and puritanical servant Malvolio (Michael Jubak, Jr.), leading him to profess his love for Olivia as well. With all these mix-ups, hilarity ensues. Throughout the play, Feste the clown (played by Elizabeth Caragliano) comments on the action and provides musical entertainment.
The cast also includes Ceara Kretzmer (Antonio), Eleanor Millard (Valentine/Priest), Ana Abreu (Curio/Officer), Chris Collazo (Sea Captain/Officer), Angelina Siconolfi (Olivia’s Servant), and Philip Schutz (Sailor/Officer).The play’s assistant directors are Harrison High School senior Mirthalexandra Midence and sophomore Larry Vazquez. Twelfth Night is stage managed by junior John Carpino. Additional members of the crew include: Leilah El-Azizi, Faith Ildefonso, Shai Gropper, Marcello Principe, Caroline Tanico, Shannon Kenny, Elle Fiery, Emma Fitzgerald, Sydney Macchia, Scarlett Kerridge, Alex Santamaria, and Alondra Nolasco Rojas.