Shakespeare Theatre Company invites audiences to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday by attending a viewing party of the National Theatre of London’s 2017 production of Twelfth Night on Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 PM EST. The streaming production is presented as part of National Theatre at Home, and the viewing party is presented as part of Shakespeare Everywhere, STC’s new streaming platform.
Update April 24: There was no online viewing party, due to technical difficulties, but Simon Godwin’s Twelfth Night is streaming for free here until 2 pm Thursday, April 30.
Directed by Simon Godwin, Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Artistic Director and National Theatre’s Associate Director, Twelfth Night is an “extravagant, rambunctious production’’ (The Guardian). “This is a play about finding hope after all seems lost, coming out of isolation and discovering a new, shared humanity,” says Godwin. “It’s an aspirational play for this moment, and I’m excited to celebrate Shakespeare on his birthday with this magical production.”
Olivier Award–winning actress Tamsin Greig portrays Malvolia, a re-gendered casting of the lovesick steward Malvolio, in a new twist on Shakespeare’s classic comedy of mistaken identity. After a shipwreck, Viola loses her twin brother Sebastian and disguises herself as a young man to explore Illyria. Viola is employed by Duke Orsino to woo Olivia on his behalf, but Olivia falls for Viola and Viola finds herself in love with Orsino. Mistaken identities, unrequited love, and “midsummer madness” prevail in this comedy where music is the food of love, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and all have silliness thrust upon them.
Simon Godwin will introduce the screening at 7:30 PM, and Shakespeare Theatre Company’s YouTube channel will feature interviews with actors. In addition, Godwin will answer pre-selected audience questions. You can submit questions using this form. At 8:00 PM, audiences are asked to turn to the National Theatre’s YouTube channel. For more information, please visit National Theatre at Home: TWELFTH NIGHT watch party.
National Theatre at Home provides access to online content to help serve audiences in their homes. During this unprecedented time which has seen the closure of theaters, cinemas, and schools, audiences around the world can stream NT Live productions for free via YouTube every Thursday, and each show will then be available on demand for seven days. Alongside the streamed productions, National Theatre at Home will also feature accompanying interactive content, such as Q&As with cast and creative teams and post-stream talks.
Shakespeare Everywhere is STC’s new platform for engaging with audiences through digital offerings and innovative new content. While theaters remain closed, STC has been busy reimagining Shakespeare Theatre Company as a virtual theater organization. Shakespeare Everywhere will allow STC to share the inspiration of the classics in homes throughout the District and across the globe.
Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s premier classical theater company. Led by Artistic Director Simon Godwin and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC has become synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theater more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital, building on the foundation laid by Founding Artistic Director Michael Kahn. Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, STC has a mission to create innovative productions that inspire dialogue and connect classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound ideas, complex characters, and poetic language written by Shakespeare and others—ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes—for all audiences. At this time of transition, the Company’s mission evolves with a three-year initiative to produce family-friendly theater during the holidays, and an expansion of the definition of “classic” to include playwrights previously excluded from the canon, with a renewed commitment to high-quality, exhilarating, inclusive theater. A leader in arts education, STC has a dynamic range of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free for All. For the past 27 years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.
Tax-deductible contributions can be made at the Shakespeare Theatre Company website.