The 12th season of Bard on the Bandstand will be celebrated by a performance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Illyria is a topsy-turvy island where everything is not as it seems is the setting for one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies in a performance by the Emerald Pig Theatrical Society.
Viola and her brother Sebastian are on a ship when they run into a storm and become shipwrecked.
Viola believes her brother to be dead and when she is cast upon the island, she has to decide what she is going to do.
Viola decides she is going to disguise herself as a boy and work for the Count, Orsino. She is hired by the Count and goes to his castle and becomes his go between for the woman that he loves.
However, the woman that Viola goes to woo on Orsino’s behalf falls in love with her, thinking that she is a boy.
“It’s all about mixed up identities,” said director Cathie Young.
“It’s a very elaborate, crazy kind of plot of practical jokes and everybody disguising themselves,” she said laughing.
Olivia, a wealthy, beautiful and noble Illyrian lady who is being courted by Orsino, has decided she is not going to love anybody because she is also mouring the loss of a brother.
Then Viola’s identical twin Sebastian, who has not died but instead resuced by Antonia, a woman in the Emerald Pig production, find themselves in Illyria, creating even more identity confusion in the elaborate, crazy plot.
“And everybody is in love with the wrong person,” said Young.
Viola falls in love with Orsino who is the Count, but he doesn’t know that she is in love with him. Sebastian and Olivia get married. And Sir Toby, Olivia’s uncle, a drunk marries the servant Maria who helps him with all the practical jokes.
Young has directed other Shakespeare plays with Emerald Pig including Macbeth and The Winter’s Tale.
She has also stage managed Shakespeare plays as well.
But, she loves the atmosphere of Shakespeare in the park.
“You’re just in the natural light and working in the open space and it naturally turns dark at night and you bring your lights up,” Young explained.
“And I love the fact that families attend so there’ people with blankets on the grass and kids are running around and families are there and it’s just a nice fun time,” she continued.
Young loves the language of Shakespeare and the themes of Shakespeare.
And she finds the plays with Bard on the Bandstand are very approachable.
“I like the fact we do big stories in a beautiful language and in a way that’s in the open and it’s free to the community and it’s very much a community event,” she said.
Young has also enjoyed working with 14-year-old Hanna O’Reilly who plays the role of Viola.
“It’s lovely to see such a young person take on the big lead in the play,” she said.
“Shakespeare wrote lovely parts for women and this is one of the lovely parts for women,” she continued saying that Shakespeare takes women out of Elizabethan Society where they were supposed to be quiet and respectful and gives them a voice.
Feste, the clown in Olivia’s household, and Viola are the most intelligent people in this play.
And Viola is very witty, parrying with the fool Feste.
The best thing about Bard for Young is that people always have a great time.
“It not pretentious or anything. It’s fun and it’s open and it’s story telling, real story telling,” she said.
“People don’t have to be quiet and silent or respectful, it’s just a real community event where we come to have a fun time and have a good story told.”
The Emerald Pig Theatrical Society’s production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare runs July 13 to 15 at Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows and July 20 to 22 at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge.
The event is free with a donation of non-perishable food item to the Friends in Need Food Bank.
Pre-show entertainment organized by local musician Pam Burns will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m..
Opening night on July 13 the Hunger Management food truck will be on site.
Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on.
For information go to emeraldpig.ca.