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'Twelfth Night' opens Friday

A tale of love misguided and misunderstood will jazz up the Main Stage at Bemidji State University in the upcoming comedy, "Twelfth Night."

The BSU production of the William Shakespeare play will open at 7:29 p.m. Friday on the Main Stage of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex at BSU. Additional performances are set for 7:29 p.m. April 12, 18 and 19 and 3 p.m. April 20.

Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens and free for BSU students with valid student identification. The play is intended for audiences age 13 and older.

Reserved seating is available at the box office at Bangsberg 127 or by calling the box office at 755-3863. Box office hours are 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available at the door.

"It's a really great play," said director Patrick Carriere, who is the chairman of the Department Theatre and Communication Arts at BSU. "It's poignant and funny. And it's probably one of Shakespeare's ... most performed works."

He said the play is about love in many of its forms -- love found, love lost, passionate love, filial love, hidden love, unrequited love, impossible love, misunderstood love and misrepresented love.

"It involves a set of twins -- a brother and a sister -- who are shipwrecked," Carriere said.

He said the twins, who both land in Illyria, believe each other is dead. To protect herself, one of the twins, Viola, disguises herself as a man.

Viola becomes a servant of Duke Orsino of Illyria. The duke is in love with a countess named Olivia, who doesn't return his love. He sends Viola, who uses the name Cesario as part of her disguise, as a love messenger to Olivia.

Viola, however, falls in love with the duke, and while Viola is in disguise, Olivia falls in love with Cesario.

The play, Carriere said, includes other plots, all of which come together to create a tale of love that is misguided and misunderstood.

Set in the jazz era, the play will include live jazz performances with a jazz band and singers

Carriere said the play will have an atmosphere that takes on some of the flavor of Shakespearian-style stage performances with a stage that extends into the audience, interaction between the performers and the audience, special lighting and live music.

"All Shakespeare's performances had live music," he said.

Sarah Bull, a senior majoring in theater, will play Viola, and Tom Bauer, a junior majoring in political science and social studies, will play Sebastian, Viola's twin brother.

Andy Browers, a graduate student in English, will play Duke Orsino and K.D. Howells, a sophomore majoring in creative and professional writing, will play Olivia.

Other characters include Sir Toby Belch, played by English professor Brian Donovan; Sir Andrew Aguecheek, played by senior political science major Robert Baril; Maria, played by community member Julie Kaiser; Malvolio, played by junior theater major Jon Mansk; and Feste, played by senior theater major Matthew Goinz.