Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Paula Plum
Scenic Design by Jenna McFarland Lord
Costume Design by Chelsea Kerl
Lighting Design by Deb Sullivan
Sound Design by David Wilson
Production Stage Manager: Diane McLean

Season sponsored by Barry Bluestone, Lee and Diana Humphrey, and
Production sponsored by Doug & Mary Woodruff

Box Office: 617-585-5678 |
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Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Twins are separated during a shipwreck and are forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola but is idolized by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister… is it possible for this to all end well?   Well, it IS a comedy!

A co-production with Actors’ Shakespeare Project.

“If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it.”  – William Shakespeare

Viola is shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria and she comes ashore with the help of a Captain. She has lost contact with her twin brother, Sebastian, whom she believes to be drowned. With the aid of the Captain, she disguises herself as a young man under the name Cesario, and enters the service of Duke Orsino. Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia, who is mourning the recent deaths of her father and brother. She refuses to see entertainments, be in the company of men, or accept love or marriage proposals from anyone, the Duke included, until seven years have passed. Duke Orsino then uses ‘Cesario’ as an intermediary to profess his passionate love before Olivia. Olivia, however, falls in love with ‘Cesario’, setting her at odds with her professed duty to stay in mourning. In the meantime, Viola has fallen in love with the Duke Orsino, creating a love triangle: Viola loves Duke Orsino, Duke Orsino loves Olivia, and Olivia loves Viola disguised as Cesario.

In the comic subplot, Olivia’s riotous uncle, Sir Toby Belch; another of her would-be suitors, a silly squire named Sir Andrew Aguecheek constantly drink and party, thus disturbing the peace of Olivia’s household until late into the night, prompting Olivia’s pompous steward, Malvolio to chastise them.
Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, her servants Maria and Fabian; and her melancholy fool, Feste, plan revenge on Malvolio for ruining their fun. They convince Malvolio that Olivia is secretly in love with him by planting a love letter, written by Maria in Olivia’s handwriting. It asks Malvolio to wear yellow stockings cross-gartered, to be rude to the rest of the servants, and to smile constantly in the presence of Olivia. Malvolio finds the letter and reacts in surprised delight. He starts acting out the contents of the letter to show Olivia his positive response. Olivia is shocked by the changes in Malvolio and agreeing that he seems mad, leaves him to be cared for by his tormentors. Pretending that Malvolio is insane, they lock him up in a dark chamber. Feste visits him to mock his insanity, both disguised as a priest and as himself.

Meanwhile, Viola’s twin, Sebastian, has been rescued by Antonio, a sea captain who previously fought against Orsino, yet who accompanies Sebastian to Illyria, despite the danger, because of his affection for Sebastian. Sebastian’s appearance immediately adds the confusion of mistaken identities, and comic misunderstandings. Taking Sebastian for ‘Cesario’, Olivia asks him to marry her, and they are secretly married in a church. Finally, when ‘Cesario’ and Sebastian appear in the presence of both Olivia and Orsino, there is more wonder and confusion at their physical similarity. At this point, Viola reveals her identity and is reunited with her twin brother.
The play ends in a declaration of marriages all around. Sebastian and Olivia are married, Viola declares her love for Duke Orsino, who asks for her hand, and it is learned that Sir Toby has married Maria. Malvolio appears, swears revenge on his tormentors and stalks off, but Orsino sends Fabian to placate him.



Cast & Crew

Paula Plum — Director

Paula Plum (Director) is a founding member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project and has worked as an actor and director with the Lyric Stage since 1975. She has been Artistic Director of WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn since its inception in 2003, touring concerts throughout New England during the holiday season. She has directed in Paris, New York, and Boston and is the 2009 recipient of the Fox Actor Fellowship. In the last year she has directed the Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration for the Boston Pops and Reclaiming Lucretia for Boston Lyric Opera. Paula is the recipient of the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, five IRNE Awards, three Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Actress, and was the 2003 Distinguished Alumna of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.

Rachel Belleman* — Feste

Photo of Rachel BellemanRachel Belleman* (Feste) is a New-York Based actor, thrilled to be making her Lyric Stage Debut!  She returns to Actor’s Shakespeare Project after performing with them in Exit the King. Recent credits: 1776 (New Rep Theatre), Broadway Jukebox (Brown Box Theatre Project), Love’s Labour’s Lost and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Commonwealth Shakespeare), Bridges of Madison County (SpeakEasy Stage), and Stuart Little (Wheelock Family Theatre). She has a BA in Musical Theatre from James Madison University.

Dominic Carter — Sebastian

Photo of Dominic CarterDominic Carter (Sebastian) is making his Lyric Stage and Actor’s Shakespeare Project debut. Credits: Jesus Hopped The A Train (Hovey Players), All My Sons (Praxis Stage), This Place/Displaced (Artists’ Theater of Boston), Romeo and Juliet (Underlings Theatre), and  I M Possible (Hibernian Hall). He has performed extensively in workshops and festival presentations throughout Boston, including The Next Stage (TC Squared), the One-Minute Play Festival (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Move Your Face (Boston Theater Company), and a staged reading of The King of Love Is Dead (Company One).

Jennie Israel* — Maria

Jennie Israel* (Maria) is making her Lyric Stage debut. ASP productions include Richard III, Edward II, Othello, Henry VI, Part II, As You Like it, Medea, The Duchess of Malfi, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King John, All’s Well That Ends Well, King Lear, Julius Caesar. Other local credits: Boston Marriage, Tartuffe, Dollhouse (New Rep), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Huntington Theatre), Living in Exile, Comedy of Errors, The Heidi Chronicles (Vineyard Playhouse), Molly Maguire (Sύgán Theatre), Macbeth, As You Like It (Commonwealth Shakespeare), Undine’s Valediction, Summer, The Scarlet Letter, Macbeth (Shakespeare & Company). Regional credits: Yale Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Lincoln Center Theatre, Theatre Building Chicago, The Greenwich Street Theatre, Ohio Theatre, Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Theatre Festival. Film/TV: Rudy (TriStar), Guiding Light (CBS), Coming to Litchfield. Jennie is currently an assistant professor at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. Jennie is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG- AFTRA.

Samantha Richert* — Olivia

Photo of Samantha RichertSamantha Richert* (Olivia) performed with Actor’s Shakespeare Project in The Tempest, and previously at the Lyric Stage in Hold These Truths, City of Angels, and Becky’s New Car. Other local credits include: Gooney Bird Greene and her True Life Adventures (Wheelock Family Theatre), Dancing at Lughnasa (Gloucester Stage), Ripe Frenzy (New Rep), Elemeno Pea (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), The How and the Why (Nora Theatre Company), Lucky Stiff (Greater Boston Stage Company), Jesus Christ It’s Christmas!Snow White and the Seven Bottoms (Gold Dust Orphans), and Ryan Landry’s ‘M’ (Huntington Theatre).  Regional theatre credits include: Moonchildren, Babes in Arms, A Christmas Carol, and Candide (Berkshire Theatre). Samantha is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, she is a part-time faculty member at Northeastern University and is a director, dialect coach and fight director for many schools and theatres across Massachusetts.

Alejandro Simoes* — Orsino/Aguecheek

Photo of Alejandro SimoesAlejandro Simoes* (Orsino/Aguecheek) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously appeared in Peter and the Starcatcher, Light Up the Sky, and One Man, Two Guvnors. This is also his third show with ASP having appeared in Much Ado About Nothing and Titus Andronicus. Other recent credits include Between Riverside and Crazy, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Grand Concourse, and The Motherf**ker with the Hat (IRNE Award, Best Supporting Actor, SpeakEasy Stage), The Gift Horse (New Rep), Marjorie Prime (Central Square Theatre), as well as productions with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare & Company, A.R.T., New Exhibition Room, Whistler in the Dark, and The Publick Theatre. He trained at Shakespeare & Company and Northeastern University. 

Richard Snee* — Malvolio

Photo of Richard SneeRichard Snee* (Malvolio) has appeared at the Lyric Stage in Light Up the Sky, Blithe Spirit, November, Red Herring, The Baltimore Waltz, Communicating Doors, The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, and Epic Proportions. He is a founding member of ASP and has appeared in their productions of Exit the King, Comedy of Errors, The Cherry Orchard, Richard III, Antony & Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing, A Winter’s Tale, School for Scandal, As You Like It, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Tempest, Hamlet, and Macbeth. He has also appeared at the Huntington Theatre, the Wilbur Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Nora Theatre, among others, and the Gloucester Stage where he will appear this June in Barefoot in the Park with his wife, the lovely and talented Paula Plum.

Hayley Spivey — Viola

Photo of Hayley SpiveyHayley Spivey (Viola) returns to Lyric Stage after appearing in Virgina Woolf’s Orlando.   Previous credits include Gooney Bird Greene and Her True Life Stories (Wheelock Family Theatre), Men on Boats (SpeakEasy Stage), Don’t Give Up the Ship (Fresh Ink Theatre), and First Love is the Revolution (Apollinaire Theater Company). 

Bobbie Steinbach* — Sir Toby Belch

Photo of Bobbie SteinbachBobbie Steinbach* (Sir Toby Belch) returns to the Lyric Stage after appearing in Light Up the Sky, Follies, The Importance of Being Earnest, A Little Night Music, Arms and the Man, Spitfire Grill, Over the River and Through the Woods (Norton Award), and Assassins. As a founding Member/Resident Actor with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she appeared in seventeen plays including Coriolanus, Macbeth, Winter’s Tale, School For Scandal.  Other credits A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Rose Tattoo, Dead End, The Corn is Green (Huntington Theatre), 1776, Golda’s Balcony (IRNE Award),  Fiddler on the Roof, Tongue of a Bird, Collected Stories (IRNE Award), The Clean House, A Girl’s War (IRNE Award), The Waverly Gallery, Stonewall Jackson’s House (Norton Award) (New Rep), Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company). Other regional appearances: Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, SpeakEasy Stage, and the Boston Symphony. Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement and Huntington Theatre Company’s Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship recipient. Bobbie is also an acting coach and a director.

Michael Forden Walker* — Antonio/Fabian/Valentine

Photo of Michael Forden WalkerMichael Forden Walker* (Antonio/Fabian/Valentine)is making his Lyric Stage debut. Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Director of Youth Programs, Founding Member. Richard III (twice), The Tempest, Richard II, Measure for Measure (twice), Middletown, Troilus and Cressida, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, The Duchess of Malfi, Merchant of Venice, King John, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, King Lear. Local/Regional: Gamm, Underground Railway, Centastage, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston Theatre Works, Molasses Tank Productions, The Bridge, Company One, an Innovative Theatre in Charlotte, NC. Credits include Macbeth, Tru Grace: Holiday Memoirs, The Random Caruso, Comp, Antony and Cleopatra, Ionesco, Not Ionesco, Native Speech, Love’s Fire, The Roaring Girl, The Spanish Tragedy, The Dwarfs, The Alchemist, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, The Rover, Tales of the Lost Formicans, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Sleeping Beauty or Coma, and The Metamorphosis.  M.A. in English, Boston University.  

David Wilson** — Sound Design

David Wilson** (Sound Design) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously designed Breath & Imagination, City of Angels, Barbecue, and Souvenir. Previous designs for Actors’ Shakespeare Project include Edward II, Comedy of Errors and Macbeth (sound design and music) and Troilus and Cressida (lighting and sound design). He has designed lighting or sound for over 350 productions of opera, theater, concert and dance. He has served on the faculty of Brandeis University heading the graduate program in sound design, and has designed and taught at Boston College, Boston Conservatory of Music, Bowdoin, Emerson, Harvard, New England Conservatory, Tufts, Suffolk and UMASS-Lowell. Regional credits include Boston Playwrights Theater, Central City Opera, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Company One, Deborah Abel Dance, Dibble Dance, Gloucester Stage, Merrimack Rep, Moonbox, New Rep, The Nora, North Shore Music Theater, Reagle Music Theater, SpeakEasy Stage, Stoneham Theater, Shakespeare and Co, Underground Railway Theater, WHAT, and Wheelock Family Theater. He has received multiple nominations and awards for his work, most recently the Elliot Norton Award for ASP’s Edward II.

Lindsey McWhorter — Movement/ Fight Choreographer

Lindsey McWhorter (Movement/Fight Choreographer) is a movement and fight director, actress, and adjunct professor at Brandies University. She is making her debut as a Movement/Fight Director at the Lyric Stage. Movement/Fight Director credits:  Richard III (Actors’ Shakespeare Project) and Dead City (Apollinaire Theatre Company). Acting Credits: Anna Christie, Mr. Burns, Intimate Apparel (Lyric Stage), Arabian Nights (Central Square Theatre),The Farm (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), In the Next Room (SpeakEasy Stage), Good Goods (Iseman Theatre, Yale), In the Continuum (Up You Mighty Race Theatre Company),  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It (Commonwealth Shakespeare), To Kill a Mockingbird  (Montana Repertory Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Berkshire Theatre Festival), Seussical, All Shook Up (Idaho Summer Repertory), Bloodline: the Children of Argos, The Overwhelming (Hangar Theatre). Other Training: Double Edge Theatre Company, and Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Lindsey received her M.F.A. in Acting from Brandeis University and B.A. from Alabama State University and is Certified with the Society of American Fight Directors. 

Natalie Good — Assistant to the Director

Natalie Good (Assistant to the Director) making her Lyric Stage debut. This production is also her first time working with ASP’s professional company, although she has been involved with ASP’s youth programs for the past five years. She is currently a senior at the Cambridge School of Weston and will attend Smith College in the fall. 

Press & Reviews

“Relax and enjoy what has to be one of, if not the, best productions of a Shakespeare play this season. As Orsino says “If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it”. The music at the Lyric stage is certainly the food of love…and of great theatre.”

“Twelfth Night At The Lyric Stage” | Boxing Over Broadway

“The vaudevillian music paired with cartoonish physical antics makes for a classic, hilarious combination. Bobbie Steinbach swaggers about in red-velvet boots with a matching vest as the brazen Sir Toby Belch. She thrills the audience with her raunchy portrayal. We all have that one embarrassing uncle, and Steinbach captured him impeccably. As they prank Malvolio and hide in plain sight, Sir Toby, Andrew, and Fabian played by Michael Forden Walker, channel the Three Stooges.”

At Lyric Stage, Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ With A Jazzy Twist Is Here To Entertain | WBUR The ARTery

“The first co-production by the Lyric Stage Company and the Actors’ Shakespeare Project is the Bard’s madcap tale of crossed signals, mistaken identity, and gender fluidity, starring Boston University grad Hayley Spivey as Viola. Celebrated local actress Paula Plum directs. ”

Five things to do the week of March 25-31 | The Boston Globe 

“The story of Viola is the story of an immigrant if you will, or a refugee washed ashore. She finds herself in a strange land, and the question at the heart of Viola’s journey is, “Do I belong here?” In order to find her way and to survive, she has to cover herself up and become something that she isn’t; and in order to be loved, she has to reveal who she is, but she’s asking, “Can I be who I am, and still be loved?” That question is answered only at the end of the play.”

EdgeBoston Preview | High and Dry and On the Sly :: Paula Plum on ASP and Lyric Stage’s Co-Production of ‘Twelfth Night’

“Spivey says a comedy with a happy ending is just what audiences needs in the challenging current American social climate. The touching reunion between Sebastian and Viola is one of her personal favorite scenes in the show. That black actors star in the show is the icing on the cake. ‘Especially for the students coming to the show, I think it’s important for them to see people of color on stage in lead roles,’ says Spivey.”

African American talent shines in ‘Twelfth Night’ at Lyric Stage | The Bay State Banner 


Day Center Section Side Section
Wed Mat $51 $35
Wed/Thur/Fri $67 $47
Sat/Sun $73 $53

March 29 — April 28
8:00 pm

This production includes theatrical haze and a strobe light effect.Running Time: Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes and one intermission.Box Office: 617-585-5678
boxoffice@lyricstage.comPlan Your Visit

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