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Twelfth Night Production Guide: Getting Started

This guide is a starting point for research about a campus production of Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Festival








The play’s title refers to a Christian festival: Twelfth Night (the night before the feast of Epiphany), which is celebrated on the 5th or 6th of January as the twelfth day of Christmas. Twelfth Night was traditionally a time of folk-plays and wassailing, and Epiphany a day of practical jokes, not unlike April Fool's Day. Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God in his human son Jesus; some critics have seen this reflected in the 'revelation' of the previously hidden Viola and Sebastian.  -

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Twelfth Night on Film

Streaming Films of Twelfth Night available to the University of Puget Sound campus

21st-Century Bard: The Making of Twelfth Night Series - When the decision was made by Britain’s Channel 4 to film a TV adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the result was a gloriously irreverent, deliciously colorful production in which the twins Viola and Sebastian—Parminder Nagra and Ronny Jhutti—are re-imagined as shipwrecked asylum seekers adrift in a surreal contemporary London. In this fascinating four-part series, the people who made it all happen explain how it was done. Clips from the movie are included throughout. 4-part series, 25 minutes each.

Kenneth Branagh's Twelfth Night - Kenneth Branagh takes on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with the Renaissance Theatre Company. The exemplary cast includes Richard Briers as Malvolio, Frances Barber as Viola, Caroline Langrishe as Olivia, Christopher Ravenscroft as Orsino, and James Saxon as Sir Toby Belch. The original music for this production is by Paul McCartney and Pat Doyle. (157 minutes)

Twelfth Night: Stratford Festival Classics -. Viewers will find this Stratford Shakespeare Festival production not only entertaining but also ideal for studies in Shakespeare and dramatic art. (144 minutes)

First Folio of Twelfth Night

Download the first folio of Twelfth Night from the Bodleian Library


The plot of Twelfth Night is thought to have sprung from several possible sources:

Ovid's Metamorphoses Shakespeare makes reference to the myth of Acteon in Twelfth Night.

Gli' Ingannati, The Deceived, an Italian comedy written in 1531 about twins and mistaken identity.

Of Apolonius and Silla  in Barnaby RIchie's Farewell to Military Profession, written in 1581. Silla disguises herself as her brother Silvio to work for and win the love of Apolonius, the duke

First Recorded Performance of Twelfth Night 1602

1602 -Twelfth Night performed in the hall of the Middle Temple, London

An account of the play comes from the diary of John Manningham who attended the performance on February 2, 1602. His entry reads:

At our feast wee had a play called Twelve Night, or what you will, much like the commedy of errores, or Menechmi in Plautus, but most like and neere to that in Italian called Inganni. A good practise in it to make the steward beleeve his lady widdowe was in love with him, by counterfayting a letter as from his lady, in generall termes, telling him what shee liked best in him, prescribing his gesture in smiling, his apparaile...and then when he came to practise making him beleeve they tooke him to be mad.

Campus Performance Dates

All performances are held at the Norton Clapp Theatre.

October 28, 2016, at 7:30pm

October 29, 2016 at 7:30pm

October 30, 2016 at 7:30pm

November 3, 2016 at 7:30pm

November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm

November 5, 2016, at 2pm and 7:30pm

Director: Geoff Proehl

Scenic Designer: Kurt Walls

Costume Designer: Mishka Navarre