Seattle Rep Opens Season with Twelfe Night, or What You Will Sept. 19

News   Seattle Rep Opens Season with Twelfe Night, or What You Will Sept. 19 Seattle Repertory Theatre officially opens its season with the David Esbjornson staging of William Shakespeare's Twelfe Night, or What You Will [sic], Sept. 19. (The company is using the spelling on the Bard's first folio.)
Frank X and (background) Charles Leggett, Andrew McGiunn and Nick Garrison in Twelfe Night.
Frank X and (background) Charles Leggett, Andrew McGiunn and Nick Garrison in Twelfe Night. Photo by Chris Bennion

The production began previews Sept. 13 at the Washington state company's Bagley Wright Theatre and is scheduled to play through Oct. 20.

The cast features Barzin Akhavan (as Orsino), Jacob Blumer (Sebastian), Christine Marie Brown (Viola), Cheyenne Casebier (Olivia), Bradford Farwell (Curio), Nick Garrison (Fabian), Charles Leggett (Sir Toby Belch), Andrew McGiunn (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Mari Nelson (Maria), David Pichette (Feste), MJ Sieber (Antonio), Frank X (Malvolio) and Brandon Whitehead (Captain).

"In Twelfe Night, or What You Will, the inhabitants of Illyria are set awhirl by the absurdities of love," according to a release. "The Countess Olivia is deep in mourning, but her heart begins to warm when a shipwrecked Viola, disguised as a manservant, pays court to her for 'his' master, Orsino." All of Shakespeare's clowns, the drunk Sir Toby Belch, the priggish Malvolio and more are all present in the "bittersweet reminder about the frailty and vulnerability of love."

Esbjornson has previously staged Broadway's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan and Off-Broadway runs of Memory House, The Oldest Profession, Much Ado About Nothing, The Normal Heart, Tuesdays with Morrie, My Old Lady, The Play About the Baby, Therese Raquin, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and Krapp's Last Tape — the latter three when he served as artistic director for the Classic Stage Company.

The design team includes Michael Pavelka (set), Frances Kenny (costume), Scott Zielinski (lighting) and Ken Travis (sound). Wayne Barker provides original compositions. Deborah Hecht serves as dialect coach. Geoff Alm handles fight choreography. The stage manager is Jenifer Shenker. The 2007-2008 season at Seattle Rep continues with Jeffrey Hatcher's Murderers (Oct. 4-Nov. 4), Eduardo Machado's The Cook (Nov. 1-Dec. 1), Cheryl L. West's Birdie Blue (Nov. 15-Dec. 16), The Breach by Catherine Filloux, Tarell McCraney and Joe Sutton (Jan. 10-Feb. 9, 2008), Robert Schenkkan's By the Waters of Babylon (Jan. 31-March 2, 2008), Molière's The Imaginary Invalid (Feb. 21-March 22, 2008), Kevin Kling's how? how? why? why? (March 13-April 19, 2008) and The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney (April 3-May 3, 2008).

Tickets and subscriptions to the season at Seattle Repertory Theatre, at 155 Mercer Street in Seattle, WA, are on sale by calling (206) 443-2222, toll free at (877) 900-9285 or online at seattlerep.org.

Christine Marie Brown and Barzin Akhavan in Seattle Rep's <i>Twelfe Night</i>.
Christine Marie Brown and Barzin Akhavan in Seattle Rep's Twelfe Night. Photo by Chris Bennion