Tag: Twelfth Night

Sweet Tea Shakespeare Cocktail Hours: The Perfect Recipe

Sweet Tea Artistic Director Jeremy Fiebig, Assistant Artistic Director, Claire F. Martin, and Company Member Jessie Wise chat about the ingredients that make a great play. What’s the recipe for a smash-hit?

Welcome to The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours, where we spend time well by spending it together. So, think of the Hours as a way to pass the time around a common table of ideas. We’re a community seeking to delight in story, song, and stagecraft even as we confront a world of change and challenge.

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Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours: Twelfth Night Table Read, Part II

PART II

Led by Assistant Artistic Director, Claire Martin, Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents the next installment in our table read series: Twelfth Night. Only this time we invited our community, board members, and Patreon sustainers to join in and try their hand on the Shakespearean stage! Enjoy!

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as Cesario) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man.

Welcome to The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours, where we spend time well by spending it together. We’re a community seeking to delight in story, song, and stagecraft even as we confront a world of change and challenge. You can find our whole catalog at sweetteashakespeare.com

The Hours are made possible by regular support from our monthly sustainers and patrons. Please consider making a monthly pledge on Patreon: patreon.com/sweetteashakes

You can always contact The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours at [email protected]

Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/sweetteashakes/message
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/sweetteashakes/support

Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours, Table Read Series: Twelfth Night, Part I

Directed by Assistant Artistic Director, Claire Martin, Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents the next installment in our table read series: Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as Cesario) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man.

Welcome to The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours, where we spend time well by spending it together. We’re a community seeking to delight in story, song, and stagecraft even as we confront a world of change and challenge. You can find our whole catalog at sweetteashakespeare.com

The Hours are made possible by regular support from our monthly sustainers and patrons. Please consider making a monthly pledge on Patreon: patreon.com/sweetteashakes

You can always contact The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours at [email protected]

Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/sweetteashakes/message
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/sweetteashakes/support

Auld Lang Syne

Justly or not, 2016 has garnered a reputation as a rough year. But for Sweet Tea Shakespeare, it was a year of excitement, challenges, and magic. Here are some of our company members’ favorite memories and moments of the shows of 2016:

“Shut Up and Dance,” the Tinder messages, Mercutio’s Burger King crown (and the fact that Lofton Riser had to go to four different Burger Kings to find it), Catherine Kelly twerking in a nun’s habit and killing that violin solo on “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” (Romeo and JuliLIT)  –Hanna Lafko, Stage Wright

Watching Gertrude’s wine glass get bigger each time she walked on stage. Singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” while rolling a dead body up in a carpet. (HamLIT)  –Katie White, Goods Wright

Marie Lowe leading the ensemble singing “This Love Won’t Break Your Heart” to open Twelfth Night. I was missing friends and family something fierce around that time, and it was super appropriate and made me cry.  –Rachel Brune, Audience Wright

“Sweet Child O’ Mine,” and that one time that I wiped out during the invited rehearsal and had to improvise a recovery.  (Romeo and JuliLIT)  –Gabe Terry, Costume Wright

Michael Thrash pouring water on people was a particular delight. (Twelfth Night)  –Jeremy Fiebig, Artistic Director

Justin Garland singing “Kiss.” (Merchant of Venice)
Jacob French and Tyler Pow wrestling in As You Like It.
Taj Allen eating things In AYLI and Sense and Sensibility.
Greg Griffin and Paul Woolverton bobbing their heads to Ruth Nelson singing “What is Love.” (Twelfth Night)
Seeing the backyard of the Poe House in full bloom for S&S. Lofton’s bluster (and pug) in same.
Thrash in his AYLI turban.
The first time I saw Tohry Petty and Jennifer Czechowski in their Mario and Luigi mustaches. Also, when Tohry didn’t die despite the best efforts of said mustache. (Merchant)
Walking in to the church to fill in for Orlando and getting suddenly, silently hugged by Jeremy. (AYLI)
Seeing Jessica Osnoe play Elinor Dashwood in a play she adapted brilliantly. (S&S)
Joyce Borum’s coffee grounds beard. (As You Like It)
The Mayor of Fuquay-Varina chugging a beer during R&JLit.
The countless times I walked into a space Medina Demeter decorated and went, “Wow.”
Justin Toyer playing Willoughby and getting so frustrated when people didn’t like him. (S&S)
Leisa Greathouse and her husband dressing up for S&S.
The look on Mary Lynn Bain and Tyler Graeper’s faces when I told them to teach everyone their choreography for “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The look on their faces during the bed scene in R&J.
And Jennifer’s husband yelling “That’s my wife!” after she sang “Sweet Child.” (R&J)
Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have another list.  –Marie Lowe, Associate Artistic Director, Master of Audience and Lit

Duty! (HamLIT)  –Nathan Pearce, Master of Dispatch

Anytime we sing “Dear Wormwood.”
The welcoming and charming reception we always get when performing at the library. Especially during LibrariCon.
Uptown Funk during S&S
Marie and Traycie to the rescue during AYLI.
Talking with an audience member at Behold as they were describing the amazing stage for AYLI and watching his face as he realized we were in the same space transformed.
Trying to make it through the MoV trial scene while slowly being choked by a moustache.
Marie’s Gratiano in MoV.
The absolute beauty that was S&S inside and out: how the environment and the show were beautiful reflections of each other.  –Tohry Petty, Master of Gift and Hype

Seeing Marie take Lit from an idea to two successful, hilarious productions.
Gertrude’s ever-changing speech to Laertes upon revealing Ophelia’s death. (HamLIT)
Medina’s note to make “a sound of marital discontent.” (MoV)
Portia rejecting all the suitors. (MoV)
Ruth as Marianne singing “White Blank Page.” I want to cry just thinking about it. (S&S)
“Doors of Heaven” and “Like a Virgin” (Measure for Measure)
The nurse’s sudden appearance in the bed scene. Even when I knew it was going to happen, it stayed funny.  –Jennifer Czechowski, Sugars and Volunteers Fellow

Thank you so much for sharing these memorable moments with us in 2016. We hope you had a beautiful year and that you found joy, solace,  wonder, and hope in a play. Please share your own Sweet  Tea Shakespeare memories with us, and join us to make new ones in 2017. Happy New Year!

To Be Loved

By Rachel A. Brune (Priest, Twelfth Night)

On the opening night of Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s production of “Twelfth Night,” or “What You Will,” I joked to a friend that, as the Priest, I was the most important character in the play. To her look of doubt, perhaps spurred by the fact that I have six lines at the end of the play, I replied:
“If it weren’t for the fact that everyone gets married at the end, this play would be a tragedy, not a comedy!”
While I am, of course, exaggerating for the sake of wit, it is the revelation, recognition, and acceptance of love that reclaims the promise of happiness from the darker threads underlying the scenes of the play. Truly, as the Sweet Tea players are fond of quoting, “Love is the strongest choice.”
And yet, when we say this, the first impression is that of action. We the characters make the choice to love. We choose to bestow our love—or to withhold it, to accept another’s love, to go off stage hand in hand to the altar, to rescue one another from the tragedy of mistakenly sowing love where it cannot grow. Each of these choices holds inherent risk for us—perhaps we have accepted or bestowed that love too soon; perhaps, we are not, in fact, the characters we play.
I would like to propose, however, viewing this concept from an alternate perspective, especially within the confines of the play, and suggest instead that love is the choice that affects us most strongly. The perception of being loved affects each character in a unique way, leading in some instances to folly, but in others to the most wonderful of conclusions.
When we first meet the Countess Olivia and her pursuer, Duke Orsino, Olivia has been in mourning for quite some time. Orsino bemoans the fact that she chooses the dirge of familial love lost over the opportunity for romantic love at his hands and lips. And yet, what effect does his choice have on Olivia?
In a time when a woman needed a male protector, she has lost both father and brother. Her decision to extend her period of mourning is both admirable, and also the only amount of breathing space she will have before Orsino’s suit—and the societal pressure to accept it—force her hand into marriage. Thus, his love has the effect of unwelcome pressure and the reminder that without formal alliance, her position remains ever precarious once she removes the armor of her mourning weeds.
The perception of being loved inspires not only amore, but also agape. Depending on one’s interpretation of Antonio’s love for the young man, Rodrigo, he has rescued from the sea, this love is an unrequited passion or the deep bond that comes between comrades in arms. Either way, the support and friendship Antonio unhesitatingly provides to Rodrigo, even at the threat to his own life, gives Rodrigo life, independence, and that exhilaration that makes him the sort of man to give as freely of his own devotion when the object (Olivia) presents him with the opportunity to do so.
And what of Malvolio? Poor steward, he has the audacity to dream above his station, which makes him vulnerable to the juvenile practical joke devised for him by Mistress Maria. Malvolio, as priggish and fussy as he is, becomes a sympathetic figure to anyone who has ever been caught daydreaming of something wonderful (how many times have I imagined that interview on The Daily Show talking about my latest novel?)
Although Malvolio stands as a figure of fun to the other characters, what would humans be without the capacity to love and dream? And how does the object of his hopes for love respond to his affection when it is revealed? Indeed, Olivia recognizes the love her steward has, and instead of participating in the ridicule, graciously accepts the idea of that love without necessarily condoning or returning it. Perhaps cognizant of the turmoil of her own unrequited love to the unknown Viola, she states that to make fun of love sincerely given is a “notorious wrong.”
And yet, love that is unwanted—from a Count, from a steward—prepares the heart to recognize love when it is true, as from Olivia to Rodrigo, or when it is revealed, as from Viola to Orsino.
Love is the strongest choice, both in our actions, and how it acts upon us in all its joy and melancholy. It is the mystery that imbues the spirit of the play.
And, in the end, the tragic mistakes and notorious abuse are resolved in the “contract of eternal bond of love”—and so it is. By my testimony.