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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Love triangles, death take center stage in NE drama production

By Edna Horton/reporter

Orsino is in love with Olivia, Olivia is in love with Cesario, and Cesario is in love with Orsino. That love triangle is the main conflict in the NE Campus production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, March 4-7.

Set in the fictional kingdom of Illyria, Twelfth Night follows Viola, a young woman of aristocratic birth, who is washed ashore in Illyria after a shipwreck. Finding herself in a strange land and believing her twin brother Sebastian, who was also in the wreck, to be dead, she sets off to find work and start a new life.

Viola disguises herself as a man named Cesario and goes to work for an Illyria nobleman named Orsino, who is deeply in love with Olivia. Viola as Cesario earns Orsino’s trust and becomes the messenger between Orsino and Olivia. Soon Viola falls in love with Orsino, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario.

Stephen Thomas, NE drama director and director of Twelfth Night, chose to make his rendition a musical and set the time period in the roaring ’20s.

“Right before the stock market crashed, everyone did everything to excess. People had excessive relationships, and that is like the relationships in the play,” he said.

Many different NE departments have combined their efforts to make the production of Twelfth Night a success.

Ed Perez, music assistant professor, wrote the score. Suzanne Perez, art instructor, is in charge of the set, and Linda Quinn, dance professor, is the choreographer.

Eric Devlin, English department chair, plays Malvolio, the servant of Sir Toby, Olivia’s father. Devlin describes his character as condescending but a person of great dignity who wants to have social status. Given the social rank of Malvolio, however, he realizes that will never happen.

“Malvolio is a real person who is not a bad person, but doing what he thinks is right,” Devlin said.

Student Laura Neely plays Viola.

“She is very complex, distraught, confused and torn,” she said.

Neely said she can identify with her character, to a certain extent.

“I can relate to her in the way of, ‘I love this guy but can’t tell him,’ not like, ‘Remember that woman who was in love with me?’” she said.

Michael Sisemore decided he would play his character, Orsino, like The Great Gatsby. He said Orsino is a wealthy, manly man who has everything he wants but cannot get Olivia.

“He’s got everything he wants except for the girl,” he said.

Sisemore said students should come see the play because Shakespeare was an early slapstick comedian.

“Shakespeare was the original sitcom guy,” he said.

Neely said people should not be scared off by Shakespeare.

Twelfth Night is the Shakespeare to see for people who don’t like Shakespeare,” she said.

Twelfth Night showtimes are 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee in the NFAB Theater.

There will also be a special performance for high school students called Shakespeare in Excess at 8:45 a.m. March 5.

Tickets are $6 for general admission, $3 for non-TCC students and seniors and free for TCC students, faculty and staff. For reservations, call the box office at 817-515-6687 or e-mail

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