Bluefield, VA – The Bluefield University Theatre Department will present its first live theatre production since the start of the pandemic on Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 when Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night opens in Harman Auditorium. Performances will be at 3 p.m. for both performances. Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for youth and senior adults. Tickets are free for all Bluefield University faculty, staff, and students. Audience members will be socially distanced and will be required to be masked. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended.
Written around 1601 or 1602, Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. The play is a madcap romance that is filled with pranks, mistaken identities, and broad physical humor and is sure to please. The cast features 12 actors that include Bluefield University faculty, students, and several alumni. Count Orsino is played by BU graduating senior Robert Walls. His initial love interest, the Lady Olivia is played by Staley Lyle. Olivia’s buffoonish uncle, Sir Toby Belch is played by BU artistic director Charles Reese. Olivia’s puritanical steward, Malvolio, who is the butt of all of Sir Toby’s folly is played by BU theatre major Noah Jennings. Feste the musical jester is played by BU theatre alumnus Bobby Hall. And the shipwrecked Viola, who is in disguise as Orsino’s servingman Cesario is played by BU theatre freshman Abigail McComas. Other cast members include Ian Matullo as Toby’s companion Sir Andrew Aguecheek, theatre alumna Carrington Hawthorne as Maria, Alexandra Stout as Fabian, Brian Fisher as Viola’s twin brother Sebastion, BU technical director Fletcher Lowe as Antonio, BU student General Smith as the priest, alumna Kara Neal as Valentine and Brittany Walter as the sea captain. The production is under the direction of BU faculty Charles Reese and Rebecca McCoy-Reese.
“We feel very grateful to be doing live performances again,” said Reese. “The pandemic has been a very challenging time for performing artists all over the world. But with the roll-out of the vaccine there is the chance for a careful return to the theatre. Every member of our cast has been vaccinated or has gained natural immunity through having the virus. We became our own ‘social bubble.’”
Audiences will be asked to mask and observe social distancing. Due to these protocols, seating will be limited and reservations are recommended.