College of Visual and Performing Arts
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Note From The Director

November 7, 2019

When first asked what shows the Mason Players should add to the 2019/2020 season, Shakespeare was immediately on my radar. Young artists have a beautiful ability to tell these timeless stories: taking a younger spin on some traditionally adult characters, and looking at the text through a lense of 2019 and beyond, of what the future of theater can be. Twelfth Night, Or What You Will (an apt title that is most often shortened to Twelfth Night), Shakespeare’s great romantic comedy, is a perfect fit for a young band of artists to tackle, and for audiences of all ages to find themselves in.

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is a story of characters who beg the universe for love: familial, romantic, and even the “love of mockery”. In the seemingly magical world of Illyria, which we have transformed into Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music, relationships grow and fail, especially within Shakespeare’s most famous love triangle. The freedom of the characters in this play are amplified by the world around them, a place characterized where you can do anything and be anything, reminiscent of the dream-scape that was Woodstock in 1969. In Woodstock/Illyria, all the lines are blurred, lines of gender identity, traditional social etiquette, and what it means to be youthful and free of any boundaries for oneself.

The elegance and wit of this now 418-year-old text, invites audience members into Illyria and into the ever-dynamic state and circumstance of these characters. I believe in the power of theater to build and strengthen communities. We are very proud to create a community both onstage and off, and with the you, the audience. Welcome.

Kayla Schultz, Director 

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