Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hanging Up Orsino's Boots

Monday night saw me take my final turn as Duke Orsino in our community production of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

I took the stage on opening night feeling the giddy thrill of excitement as I walked on stage to see a packed house. The audience wasn't very responsive and didn't laugh at many of the jokes in the play. Still, it felt good to go out there and perform. As I took the curtain call with my cast mates, I felt like I had just finished running a marathon. I was both exhilarated and exhausted.

Saturday night's audience proved to be just as large as Friday's, but much more responsive. They even laughed at the few instances of self-deprecating humor that Orsino displays. There were also a number of laughs at the subtle nods to Viola's love for Orsino. The best part, however, was taking the stage and seeing so many of my friends in the audience. Jason was among them and had a good laugh at my costume, which threw my performance off a bit at first.  

We did two shows on Sunday, each to half-full houses. In between, we had a cast party where everyone expressed their sadness that the show was ending. Sunday's evening performance involved was noteworthy due to the involvement of a bat who flew around the lights during Act II Scene 5. It was apparently seen by the veterans of the cast as an omen of good luck. I saw it as an omen of poor ventilation.

Monday night's closing show was probably the most epic among all of them. We played to yet another full house and many little bits of improvised comedy were interspersed among the jokes in the script. The best part had to be during the last scene when the actress who played Viola/Caesario realized that she had put too much adhesive remover on her mustache and it began to fall off when she entered. She spent the whole scene up until the big reveal trying to keep her mustache on as the audience howled with laughter. The rest of the cast began to replace certain words in their speeches with the word "mustache". The whole thing was recorded on video.

In the end, I'm really quite pleased with how everything turned out. The whole experience has been a lot of fun. I moved myself out of my own comfort zone, made a lot of new friends and realized that I'm capable of so much more than I thought. Although, I am a bit sad now because I find that I miss my cast mates terribly. We all grew so close during the production. But, it's not all bad. I suspect that, should I be so inclined to join another production, I'll see the majority of them again soon.

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