Lights, Camera …Shakespeare?!


Lauren Gantman, Staff Writer

On Thursday, September 19, the Paint Branch theater group, Perspectives, kicked off the start of a brand new show season with auditions for the fall play, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  But this school year, Perspectives is saying a brief good-bye to long-time show director Ms. Perkins as the English Department’s Mr. Bergmann will be taking on the title of director.

“Don’t be nervous.  I want you guys to have fun,” Mr. Bergmann reassures his students as they take to the stage for the first round of auditions.

Although this will be Mr. Bergmann’s first time directing at Paint Branch, he is not a complete stranger to the stage.  He has been acting for over thirty years now, including a small role in last year’s musical, Annie, as a member of FDR’s cabinet, and has been directing at community and other local theaters for twenty years.  He even ran his own theater production company for a short time. All in all, Perspectives is in good hands, and for the first time ever, Paint Branch will be putting on a Shakespeare comedy for the fall shows in November.

The name Shakespeare might scare you at first with its older language and complex story lines, but don’t let that stop you from attending what’s guaranteed to be a show full of laughter and entertainment.  Twelfth Night, which will be set during the 1980’s for PB’s shows, is centered around a young woman named Viola.  Viola, who believes her twin brother has died in a shipwreck, goes undercover as a man named Cesario in an attempt to forget her brother and start a new life, eventually coming to work for the noble Duke Orsino, who is desperately in love with the genteel Olivia. But Olivia is still mourning the loss of her father and brother, and has sworn never to love another man for seven years, including Duke Orsino.  The Duke sends Cesario to Olivia, hoping that he will change her mind. However, Olivia becomes more interested in Cesario while Viola, who is still undercover as Cesario, begins to fall in love with Duke Orsino.

The anxiously-awaited cast list came out on Friday night, with Natasha Dao landing the lead role of Viola/Cesario, Sasidhar Lamu playing the love-struck Duke Orsino, and Lauren Gantman as heart-broken Olivia.

“I’m very excited to take on a new role that I’ve never tried before.  I’ve never been in a Shakespeare for one, so this should be fun!” says Natasha as she reflects on her upcoming performance.

Will Duke Orsino ever earn Olivia’s love?  Will Viola be able to reveal her true identity and feelings to Duke Orsino and Olivia?  There’s only one way to find out. Opening weekend for Twelfth Night begins November 15 and 16.