Jonathan Edwards Academy’s production of
‘Twelfth Night, or what you will’

By Dorothy Malcolm

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Jonathan Edwards Academy’s production of
‘Twelfth Night, or what you will’

The Academy Players of Jonathan Edwards Academy (JEA) in Turners Falls will be presenting their annual Shakespeare Festival with the comedy, “Twelfth Night, or what you will”. JEA students will perform at College Church Theatre, Pomeroy Terrace, Northampton on Friday, April 23 at 7 p.m. Additional performances will be at the Shea Theatre in downtown Turners Falls on Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m. with two more performances on Saturday, May 1 at 2 and 7 p.m.

One of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies, "Twelfth Night" is about orphaned twins who, after being separated by a shipwreck, believe the other to be dead. Viola, fearing life alone and unprotected, takes on the disguise of a young man named Caesario and becomes the page of Count Orsino, with whom she promptly falls in love. Come and see how this tale, with its twists and turns, masquerades and follies is finally brought to a hilarious and satisfying conclusion.

JEA students whose ages range from 11 to 17 act all parts and are faithful to the Bard's words. These productions are not watered-down versions of Shakespeare's plays to accommodate the actors' tender years. They are authentic productions and the students follow (memorize) Shakespeare's scripts verbatim.

Produced and directed by Teresa McClelland, with stage direction and music by Emma Kuipers; the young thespians include, in the dual role of Viola/Caesario, Hannah Reed; Nathan Rogers plays Sebastian; Philip MCClelland as Count Orsino; Grace Bricker as Olivia; and Daniel MacKinnon as Malvolio. The role of Feste is performed by 17-year-old Shakespearean "veteran," Andrew McClelland.

JEA's annual Shakespeare Festival has become an annual tradition for theatregoers and families throughout Pioneer Valley. Adult tickets are $15.00; senior citizens and students, $10; and children under 12, $3. Tickets may be purchased at World Eye Book Store on Main Street, Greenfield, at the JEA headmaster's office, or at the door prior to each performance. Everyone, far and wide, is welcome.

For more information, call JEA at 413-863-3700 and ask for Bonnie.

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