Jun 212011
Authors: Jason Pohl

It’s time, once again, to break out the funny accents and 17th century garb and head to the University Center for the Arts.

The third-annual Shakespeare at Sunset begins Thursday with the opening of “Twelfth Night,” a comedy of mistaken identity, love-triangles and disguises.

The original cast was entirely men, but the CSU version will be the opposite –– an all-female cast was selected in the spring.

“CSU theatre has a very strong team of female actresses right now, so it was good timing,” said Jennifer Clary, director of marketing with the School of the Arts.  

In the play, the main character, Viola, disguises herself as a male page after a shipwreck and takes the name Cesario. She soon begins working for Duke Orsino who is in love with Lady Olivia.

After being sent as a messenger to profess the Duke’s love to Olivia, the triangle grows complicated when Olivia falls for the messenger, whom she believes to be a man. Further, Viola has fallen for the Duke.

Additional subplots include confusion, apparent insanity and a visit from Viola’s brother –– her twin.

“The play is a comedy,” Clary said. “It is high quality and family friendly.”

This will be the first year Shakespeare at Sunset will feature live music. Denver-area blues pianist George Nelson will accompany the on-stage antics. Nelson, a 40-year-performer, has worked with celebrities including Ray Charles and Bill Cosby, according to his website.

Summer theater has been ongoing for decades, but this is the third year for Shakespeare at CSU.

“We plan on continuing with Shakespeare specific summer productions for the future,” Clary said.

This production is partly sponsored by Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Fund, which provides for more cultural experiences at CSU.

Director Walt Jones also received a grant from the city of Fort Collins Fort Fund after initial review from the cultural resources board and final approval from city council.

According to the grant contract, “The goal of the city is to enrich the cultural environment of Fort Collins as a service to the people.”

Performances are ongoing through summer. There will also be a reprise for four days at the end of August. Tickets are available for $8 one hour prior to the show and online at http://csuartstickets.universitytickets.com/.

Staff writer Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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