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July 29- August 2

At La Colonia Community Center/Park

715 Valley Ave, Solana Beach

Directed by Benjamin Cole


SOLANA BEACH- When performing Shakespeare’s plays, it’s common to give them a modern twist, updating the setting and visuals to a later era. However, director Benjamin Cole is putting a unique spin on TWELFTH NIGHT, or WHAT YOU WILL, Shakespeare’s comedic tale of deception, disguises, love, and madness, by going back to basics. The play will be performed outdoors at the La Colonia Community Center/Park in Solana Beach, without microphones or lighting.

 “Often Shakespeare's plays are bogged down with flashy spectacle. In Shakespeare's time, audiences went to "hear a play". The focus was on the beauty and art of the words. I chose to return to that tradition or simplicity in production, and putting stronger value on actor performance. Our actors will perform WITH the audience not AT them,” said Cole.


 Cast member Zackary Bonin, who plays Sir Toby Belch, agrees. “I think not being able to use modern technology is fantastic, because a lot of the time, especially in Shakespeare, it’s used as a crutch, and not having it actually makes you experiment more with the actual text.”


 Along the way, the cast members have learned about how much has changed since Shakespeare’s time, and what the original performances of the plays may have been like.


  “We’ve been analyzing what we have left of the original published stuff like the First Folio, and Ben’s been explaining to us how they’re basically instructions for blocking or for the actors in the way there’s punctuation in the script, and in the way certain words are emphasized… Since there weren’t directors... It’s interesting connecting some of that and using some of that blocking, because it gets us closer to how maybe it was originally planned” said cast member Marie Osterman, who plays Feste, the clown.


 According to Cole, the actors have also been training for some entertaining fight scenes.


 “There are some very exciting and very silly sword fights in the show. I am teaching the actors to fight using the best stage combat skills in order to make the fights look as real as possible, and be as safe as possible for the actors to perform. I am teaching them the same skills that Hollywood movies and Broadway shows use. I am a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, which is the largest stage combat union in the world. The training is based on historically accurate techniques made safe for the theatre.”

Performing in the park will give the audience a better view of all the action.

Shakespeare's plays should be an interactive experience that includes the audience in on the fun. Since the show will be performed outdoors in the courtyard of the La Colonia Community Center facing the park, the audience will have the opportunity to be on all sides of the performers. In the natural outdoor environment, the cast can embrace the hyperbole of foolishness that love inspires in us all,” said Cole.

The cast includes Zachary Bonin, Cosmo Cothran-Bray, Maddie Ford, Ryan Ford, Amber Hopkins, Karina Hull, Riley Hull, Gabe Krut, Carly Lynch, Wendy Maddox, Andrew Moore, Jennifer Richards, Kate Ross, and Mekala Sridhar.

TWELFTH NIGHT opens July 29th. Performances are 6PM on July 29th, 6PM on July 30th; 6PM on August 31, 2PM on August 1st, and 2PM on August 2nd. 



At La Colonia Community Center/Park

715 Valley Ave, Solana Beach






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