Shakespeare comes to life at Crafton Hills College
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Publish Date: April 29, 2023

Twelfth Night Performance

Love, mistaken identity and a bit of trickery was on the docket at Crafton Hills College the weekend of April 29, when the CHC Theatre Department staged William Shakespeare’s zany “Twelfth Night.”

Director Paul Jacques and his talented cast of actors and stagehands put a 1920s twist to the stage classic, thereby adding a somewhat modern interpretation to the play, first performed in London in 1602.

“Teaching Shakespeare [presents a challenge]. The language in itself is 400 years old, [and] we haven’t spoken this way in a very long time,” Jacques explained. “But the first thing we decided to do is change the time period to a time when there was still wonder in the world and the world was bigger but not quite how it is now.”

“Twelfth Night” performances were in the Finkelstein Performing Arts Center April 28, 29 and 30, and attracted a diverse audience of all ages, including several Crafton students who are studying the play in their respective classrooms. Jacques said the book is currently part of the college’s “One Book, One Campus” campaign, and staging the production helped develop a different level of understanding by bringing everything – the learning and stage components – full circle.

“The arts are never supposed to hand you answers but kind of get you thinking, and so this is one of those [plays] that get you thinking,” he said.

“Twelfth Night” is Shakespeare’s 19th play and tells the story of shipwrecked twins – Viola and Sebastian – who are unaware the other survived the incident. The romantic comedy takes both characters through twists and turns, but true love prevails for both Viola and Sebastian and their respective love interests.

Those who missed the production but wish to learn more can download the play through Google at