The island of Illyria will come to life in a magical, music-filled show during the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival’s inaugural Shakespeare by the Palms production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The beloved comedy will be on stage Aug. 19 to 22 and Aug. 25 to 29 at the Royal Palm Beach Commons Park Amphitheater.
Adapted by, directed and co-produced by festival veteran and noted South Florida actor and director Seth Trucks, the beloved Shakespearean tale features original scoring and performances by the award-winning musical trio the Lubben Brothers.
All of Shakespeare’s favorite devices are in this play: lost twins, assumed and mistaken identity, love triangles and plenty of witty wordplay. Twelfth Night itself is special to the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, as it has been used during major transitions in the festival’s 31-year history. It was the first show performed when the festival launched its productions in Carlin Park. It also was performed when the festival began “phase two” with the building of the grass bowl amphitheater, power and other amenities to the current location of the Seabreeze Amphitheater. This production also launches a new beginning for the festival, with the first two-festival summer season in the company’s history.
“As a lover of Shakespearian theater and a child of 1980s Hollywood, it has been a longtime dream of mine to take this most musical of Shakespeare’s plays and apply a cinematic score to it,” Trucks said. “Working with the amazingly talented Lubben Brothers and this remarkable cast of actors and musicians has been a truly magical experience.”
Twelfth Night stars veteran company member Sara Grant as the stranded survivor, Viola, who disguises herself as a man to finagle a job with the island’s Duke Orsini, played by DramaWorks actor Pierre Tannous. Festival newcomer Madison Fernandez plays the fool, Feste, who is in the employ of the much-sought Lady Olivia, performed by South Florida stage actress Shalia Sakona. New City Players founder, television and stage veteran Timothy Mark Davis portrays the drunken uncle Sir Toby, and in a traditional gender-swap role, Carbonell Best Actress nominee Elizabeth Price is the “mad” steward Malvolia. The production also features many other established South Florida actors, including Ricky Rivera as Viola’s lost twin Sebastian, Casey Sacco in the role of Maria, Dayana Moralez as Antonia and veteran Shakespearean actor Brandon Dawson as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Rounding out the cast are Jeremy Wershoven, Briana Earhart and Ernesto Gonzales.
The show also features scenic design and lighting by South Florida theater veteran Dean Landhouis, sound design by Christopher Bell and musical scoring by the Lubben Brothers (triplets Joshua, Michael and Tom) with additional musical performances from Sean Edelson, Jack Stamates and Krystal Valdes.
The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival and the Village of Royal Palm Beach present this inaugural production of Shakespeare by the Palms, sponsored by Baptist Health. Shows will be at 7 p.m. each Thursday through Sunday for the two-week run. Bring a beach chair, blanket and picnic basket, or enjoy concessions at the Royal Palm Beach Commons Park Amphitheater. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5 per adult. Visit www.pbshakespeare.org for more information.