Bringing ‘The Bard’ to Brookings High

John Kubal/Register

‘Twelfth Night’ coming to Bell Auditorium

BROOKINGS – It’s been awhile, but the boards of Bell Auditorium will soon be trod by the Brookings High School players in a Shakespearean comedy: “Twelfth Night,” under the direction of teachers Thomas Moudry and Carrie Oolog.

“Almost all of Shakespere’s comedies include mistaken identity, wires getting crossed and messages getting miscommunicated – sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally,” explained Moudry of the plot.

“In this play, it’s very intentional. And Shakespearean comedies tend to end with weddings or people on their way to weddings. That’s sort of the basics of all this.”

The heroine of the play is a young woman named Viola (Ry Serrett), who is shipwrecked and decides to disguise herself as a man, Cesario, and hide herself in the court of Duke Orsino. Cesario becomes a favorite of the duke, is made his page and is tasked with conveying his master’s love message to Lady Olivia.   

Mistaken identities and crossed wires soon become evident: Viola finds herself falling in love with Orsino; then when (as Cesario) she delivers the duke’s love notes to Olivia, the lady begins to fall in love with Cesario.

“It’s a very complicated love triangle,” Moudry explained. “Meanwhile in the background, this fellow named Sir Toby Belch and a whole entourage of characters are causing some mischief for another character that ends up involving everybody.

“There’s a missing twin (Viola’s brother, Sebastian, thought to have died in the shipwreck) and a pirate.”

Then as the play moves forward toward the end, all the pieces fall into place – with one wedding done and another soon to be. 

The sub-title or secondary title of the play is “What You Will.” Moudry sees a theme in the play of “finding your destiny, finding what you are supposed to do: in this case it’s all about love; finding your true love; finding out the person you’re supposed to be.”

He added that “Twelfth Night” is considered one of the Bard’s best comedies. He and Oorlog were intent on doing one of Shakespeare’s plays. But the SDSU players had already taken “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“The kids were excited about doing Shakespeare,” Moudry said. “It didn’t matter to them which one it was. It’s been a little while since we’ve done a Shakespeare play.” A cast of about 25 to 30 answered the call to bring the Bard to the boards at Bell.

Because weather closed Brookings schools Thursday, opening night is now tentatively planned for 7 p.m. Friday in Bell Auditorium, Brookings High School. Additional performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Monday, to make up for the canceled Thursday show.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students. Activity cards will be accepted.


Contact John Kubal at [email protected]


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