Source: Malaspina University College
Malaspina University-College Theatre opens Fall season with Twelfth Night
October 19, 2006
Mistaken identities, comic
entanglements, love and unforgettable characters await theatre enthusiasts
at Malaspina University-College Theatre’s fall production of Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Identical twins
Sebastian and Viola, who after a ship wreck, believe the other to be dead.
Viola disguises herself as a man so she can work for Duke Orsino. The
wealthy Lady Olivia falls in love with Viola, and then the fun begins.
Malaspina’s production is directed by Gerry Mackay, a director, actor, and
founding member of Whirligig Theatre. As an actor, Mackay has performed at
the Stratford Festival, Citadel Theatre, Bard on the Beach and in numerous
film and television roles. This is the first time he’s directed a play at
"I liked the way Shakespeare wrote about the world and mankind and how what
he says about human nature still applies today," said Mackay, whose love for
Shakespeare began in high school.
"I’ve always enjoyed the language."
Mackay is joined by stage manager Kylan Bezaire, a second-year theatre
student. As the stage manager, Bezaire sits in on the rehearsals and works
with the director to ensure all the elements of the production – from
lighting to the actors – is perfect.
"I really enjoy the interaction with the director and everyone in the
production," said Bezaire. "I like being at the centre of it all – everyone
liaisons through the stage manager."
Many high school students are expected to attend this season’s production,
which has influenced Mackay’s take on the play.
"We want to get them hooked now because the high school students are the
audiences of tomorrow," said Mackay.
To do that Mackay has taken a more modern and "eclectic" approach to the
play’s delivery, stage design and costuming.
One of Mackay’s favourite costume adaptations is for the rich Countess
Olivia, who has declared she is veiling herself for seven years to mourn her
brother’s recent death. Instead of using veils, Mackay and costume designer
Melissa Paulger have taken the Jackie Onassis look and will be using sun
glasses to make the same statement.
"Little things like the sunglasses bring the play into a modern setting,"
Another unique piece of the production is the stage. Because the play is a
story, Mackay and Vancouver designer Janice Chiu have chosen to create a
giant story book on the stage whose upright opened pages form the setting of
"Twelfth Night is an extremely funny play. Gerry (Mackay) has a lot of great
ideas," said Bezaire.
"He brings a lot of experience and energy to the show that I think will make
the show great."
Twelfth Night runs November 2-4 and 9-11 at 8 p.m. and November 6-9 at noon
at the Malaspina University-College Theatre, Building 310. Tickets are $12
for adults, $10 for students and seniors. For information call the Malaspina
Box Office at 740-6100.
For more information contact: Toni O'Keeffe, Director of Communications &
Public Relations. Phone (250) 740-6341; FAX (250) 740-6474; E-mail