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Yuba College has '70s take on 'Twelfth Night'
Shakespeare comedy on stage Oct. 5-21 in Linda
TIMES: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 19-20; 2 p.m. Oct. 14 and Oct. 21
WHERE: Yuba College Theatre, 2088 N. Beale Road, Linda
TICKETS: $6 and $8
"This is one of Shakespeare's funny, humorous plays. It's not one of his more serious ones," said director Geoffrey Wander.
Beginning Friday, Yuba College Theatre will present Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," running Fridays-Sundays with one Thursday showing, through Oct. 21.
"It's a little different because we're setting it in the '70s, which was, I think, an interesting cultural period in our country," Wander said.
"However, I think that 'Twelfth Night' really adapts to the '70s era sitcom. It's definitely entertaining, and it fits the '70s motif," he added.
The story of "Twelfth Night" is primarily about a brother and sister — Sebastian (Jeff Ferreira) and Viola (Laura Dunham) — who become separated in a shipwreck.
Having made it safely to shore in Illyria, Viola decides to disguise herself as a eunuch, Cesario, and become a servant to the country's ruler, Duke Orsino (Alex Yamada).
Viola/Cesario secretly falls in love with the duke, but he is in love with Olivia (Alissya Celis), who has been refusing his overtures. So the duke decides to use Cesario as his intermediary to convey his love to Olivia.
Throughout all of this, Viola "doesn't know that her brother survived the shipwreck also and is also interested in the same lady (Olivia) that the duke is interested in," Wander said.
"And so we have quite a love quadrangle going on. There's a bunch of interesting, humorous situations that develop from this," he added. "Everything turns out well in the end."
The cast includes Jasmine Burrow, Chris Collier, Miranda Cox, Cierra Crandall, Ben Eisenbarth, Leviathan Fletcher, Richard Foote, Rachel Fuentes, Brandon Graham, Ramiro Hernandez, Marcus Igarashi, Olivia Key, Ashley King, Travis Leonard, Jeanette O'Bryan, Steele Severson, Alina Shelton, Xander Stottmann, Billy Walker Jr. and John Wander.
"The cast is probably 90 percent students here at the college. That has been an emphasis in the program here with me and the other people — to try to use students as much as possible," Wander said.
"We also have live music with a band that will be accompanying set changes. They are incorporated right on the stage, and it gives a really good feel to the production. It sets the era and really sets the mood," he added.
Wander is a Yuba-Sutter native who graduated from Sutter Union High School and attended Yuba College. "I went from here to Humboldt State, worked for a few years and then went to Cal Northern up in Chico," he said.
" I got my bachelor's and master's degrees in theater. Then I went on to law school and became an attorney. I did work professionally in theater in both technical and acting for a few years, and I've kept my hand in it my whole life," he said.
"This is my first semester working at Yuba College, but I've actually been doing shows here since 1985. I started here doing Shakespeare in 'Richard III'; that is what started all of my acting and brought me to this point — but this is the first time I've directed at Yuba," Wander said.
"It should be very entertaining. It's pretty easy to follow. The dialog is nothing to be afraid of, and it's very humorous," he said.
"Everyone involved with this production, both students and non-students on both sides — technical and acting — have really put forth a great effort in this production, and I think the quality that they're putting into it will really show through for the audience," Wander said.
The theater has scheduled two special performances: Oct. 11 is School Night offering half off the student ticket price; and Oct. 13 is That '70s Night with music, appetizers and door prizes beginning at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $12 at the Oct. 13 event.