THE PEARL THEATRE COMPANY is pleased to begin the third production of its 25 th Anniversary Season, Shakespeare's capricious comedy, Twelfth Night (Or What You Will). The opening night of THE PEARL THEATRE COMPANY'S production will be on February 2 nd, the same day as the first recorded performance of the play in 1602.
A harrowing shipwreck separates twins Viola and Sebastian-but tragedy turns to comedy when they wash up on the shores of Illyria, a land turned upside-down by passion and a colorful cast of joyful, melancholy characters. In THE PEARL THEATRE COMPANY'S production of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's madcap dance of mistaken identities, cunning plans, and miraculous discoveries, the only real mistake to make is not to love at all.
The Play ponders love lost and found and explores the troubled relationship between disguise and desire. Washed up on distant shores, Viola mourns for a brother drowned in a shipwreck she herself narrowly escaped. Viola, however, is no languisher and quickly improvises a plan, disguising herself as the young man "Cesario," taking service with Duke Orsino...and shaking the foundations of this strange world. Twelfth Night offers us a world lush and joyful, but twilit, where not everyone can participate in happily ever after-a world that ends in What You Will, the subtitle that reminds the audience not to take it all too seriously-it is a comedy after all. And as such it must be both what we want, and what we make of it. As is love. In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare
The cast features 2008-2009 Resident Acting Company members Rachel Botchan (Olivia), Robin Leslie Brown (Maria), Bradford Cover (Sir Toby Belch) , Dominic Cuskern (Malvolio), TJ Edwards (Fabian/Ship Captain), and Sean McNall (Feste) who are joined by guest artists Ali Ahn (Viola), Michael Gabriel Goodfriend (Orsino), Joseph Midyett (Sebastian), Kila Packett (Curio), Jay Stratton (Antonio), and David L. Townsend (Sir Andrew Agucheek). Design and Production TeamJ.R. Sullivan, director of The Pearl's acclaimed 2008 production of The Importance of Being Earnest, helms the production and design team which includes: scenic design by Harry Feiner; costume design by Liz Covey; lighting design by Stephen Petrilli; sound design and original music by Amy Altadonna; fight director Rod Kinter; stage manager Dale Smallwood; dramaturge Kate Farrington. About The Pearl Theatre Company"The Pearl [serves] as an intimate outlet for the presentation of important works, both famous and obscure...it may be as crucial to the future of New York theatre as any of the larger companies uptown; it is a caretaker ofthe legacy."-Peter Marks, The New York Times
An OBIE Award-winning company, The Pearl has produced five mainstage productions each year since 1984,displaying international variety and theatrical excellence, firmly rooted in the classical canon. Our goal is tobring the audience to the world of the play, rather than mold the play to the confines of modern idiom The Pearl Theatre Company is an Off-Broadway classical theatre that nurtures an ongoing resident company of actors, a structure which is both important and rare. The Pearl believes that a resident company, made up of a cohesiveand experienced community of actors, is best equipped to keep vital our rich tradition and to keep fresh the wisdom, wit, and craft of the classics.
As founding Artistic Director, Shepard Sobel explains, "The Pearlproduces a classical repertory because the great plays of the last 2500 years provide a context, a perspective, by which we here in America in 2008 may see ourselves more clearly. We can - and have an obligation to -design the strength and character of the future only by knowing the character of the past." About The Pearl's 25th Anniversary SeasonOur 25th Anniversary season began in ancient Greece with a family caught in the web of their own legacy inThe Oedipus Cycle. The New York Times proclaimed, "Mr. Sobel and his cast pull off a difficult feat," and Backstage heralded the production as "brave" and "ambitious." For the holidays, we journeyed to Jerusalem during the Christian Crusades to discover if religious tolerance and understanding are possible in Nathan the Wise. Twelfth Night now brings us to Illyria where whimsy, fancy, and love distract and delight us. We then land in decadent Paris where we witness both the humor and harm of blind faith in Tartuffe. Finally we arriveat a dilapidated boarding house in New Orleans, where Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carré challenges us to seek light in even the darkest of places.
Our Resident Acting Company consists of veterans of the New York and Regional stages including: Jolly Abraham, Rachel Botchan, Robin Leslie Brown, Joanne Camp, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern, TJEdwards, Robert Hock, Sean McNall, Carol Schultz, and Edward Seamon. The 2008/2009 resident stagemanagers are Lisa Ledwich and Dale Smallwood. 2008/2009 Ticketing and Performance InformationThe Pearl Theatre Company offers several packages for audiences to discover the 25th Anniversary Season. A variety of ticketing and subscription packages are all currently available for the remaining three shows of the season by contacting our box office at 212-598-9802 or in person at The Pearl Theatre Company located atthe historic Theatre 80 on the corner of 1st Avenue and St. Marks Place in New York's vibrant East Village. Box office hours are 12PM - 6PM Monday thru Saturday and 12PM - 3PM on Sunday.
Tuesday at 7PM; Wednesday at 2PM; Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8PM; Saturday and Sunday at 2PM.Previews begin January 20, 2009. Opening night is Monday, February 2, 2009, the same date of the first recorded performance of Twelfth Night in 1602. Regular Ticket Prices:$25 for all preview performances; $45 for performances on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; $55 for performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Schedule changes:There is no performance on Tuesday, February 3, 2009. There is an additional performance on Wednesday,February 4 th at 8 PM.
Youth and Senior Tickets: $23 weekdays and $28 weekends. Remaining tickets at each performance can be purchased at a reducedprice by people 24 and younger or 65 and older on the day of performance, one half-hour prior to curtain,subject to availability. Valid for 1 ticket only per ID in person at the box office. Thursday Rush Tickets:Remaining tickets for Thursday evening performances are available for $10 fifteen minutes prior to curtain. Tuesday Talk Post-Performance Discussion:The discussions will give audiences the opportunity to participate in intimate talk-backs led by published scholars and experts within their fields.
Tuesday Talks during Twelfth Night will take place following theperformances on February 10 th and 17 th with Dr. Jean Howard. First Thursday Pizza Party:Join The Pearl Theatre Company on Thursday, January 22 nd for our popular "First Thursday Pizza Party." Sponsored by Two Boots Pizza, this event is geared toward audience members under the age of 24.Participants are welcome to partake in free pizza, with the purchase of their ticket to the performance, while mingling with the company members and production staff of Twelfth Night. First Thursday Pizza Parties begin at 6:30PM in the lobby of The Pearl Theatre Company. Directions:The company performs at Theatre 80, 80 St. Mark's Place at 1 st Avenue. The Pearl can be reached by takingthe R/W train to 8th Street, 6 train to Astor Place, L train to First Avenue, or the F train to Second Avenue. Bybus the M15 to 9th Street or the M8 to First Avenue.
PHOTOS BY LUKE REDMOND