Southern Arkansas University Theatre will present its first production of the 2021-22 season this week – an updated retelling of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

“Twelfth Night” will have three evening performances at Harton Theater at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for seniors and SAU staff and $10 for the general public. The audience must wear masks as a COVID-19 precaution.

Tickets may be purchased at the theatre. CLICK HERE to order tickets online.

“Twelfth Night” is a fast-paced romantic comedy with several interwoven plots of romance, mistaken identities and practical jokes. Separated from her twin brother Sebastian in a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy, calls herself Cesario, and becomes a servant to the Duke Orsino.

Orsino sends Cesario to woo the Countess Olivia on his behalf, but the Countess falls in love with Cesario. Meanwhile Olivia’s chambermaid, Maria, rowdy uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and his friend Sir Andrew Ague-Cheek play a trick on Malvolio, Olivia’s stuffy and uptight steward. Eventually Sebastian turns up and causes even more confusion, chaos and comedy.

Cast members are:

Viola -- Rhiana Eastland, Melbourne, Australia

Feste – Sevin Kascir of Magnolia

Olivia – Audra Tibbit of TEXarkana

Duke Orsino – Ben Culp of TEXarkana

Sir Toby Belch – Jazz VanAssche of Camden

Malvolio – Joshua Bennett of TEXarkana

Sir Andrew Ague-Cheek – Eddie Dean Parker II of Ashdown

Sebastian – John Orndorff of Gravette

Antonio – Shatabia Jordan of Dumas

Maria – Elizabeth McKee of Little Rock

Fabian – Julius Miller of El Dorado

Captain/Priest – Grayson Arin of Camden

Valentine – Austin Plunkett of TEXarkana

Curio – Collin Savell of TEXarkana

Olivia’s Friend – Rae Tucker of Magnolia

Female swing – Amber Gantt of Pascagoula, MS

Male swing – Ben Gasselman of TEXarkana

The production, directed by Dan Pivovar and performed by the Southern Arkansas University Theatre Department, is being put to the background of the bold and colorful 1980s and set in Hawaii. “Twelfth Night” is a play that embraces the absurd and over the top making the decade of frizzy hair, parachute pants, and iconic music the perfect backdrop for this hilarious retelling.

The Theatre Department’s next offering will be the musical, “The Spitfire Grill,” November 18-21.

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