Saturday, July 19, 2008

Twelfth Night at Art Farm

Just when I was complaining about being bored, my E-mail box dinged. I had E-mail! And the E-mail was from a friend of mine: "Call me! Do you want to come to 'Twelfth Night' with us?"

Would I ever!

One of the things I like about Connecticut is our abundance of outdoor Shakespeare. Middletown is a fairly new entrant into the summer outdoor Shakespeare plays, with the wonderful organization Art Farm. Art Farm is a local theatre company, not only dedicated to quality performances, but to sustainable living and protecting our environment. You can find out more about them here.

For the past three years, Art Farm has produced and performed outdoor Shakespeare in the pine grove at Middlesex Community College. This year, their production was of the Shakespeare comedy "Twelfth Night," a comedy of mistaken identity, cross dressing, confusion, and love. Viola and Sebastian are twins separated after they are shipwrecked, and each believes the other to be dead. The play takes place in a time where it's dangerous for a woman to be alone, on her own, so Viola disguises herself as a man and is hired as a page by the Duke Orsino.

Viola, now known as Cesario, is sent by Orsino to the castle of Lady Olivia. Orsino tries to make Olivia fall in love with him, and uses Cesario as an intermediary. However, Olivia is not in love with Orsino--she's in love with Cesario, and has no idea that Cesario's a woman in disguise.

And that's just the beginning of the many plots involved in "Twelfth Night." You can find out more about them here.

It was a wonderful night for Shakespeare. There was a nice breeze, and we brought a picnic. We listened to a jazz duo before the show began. One of my friend's daughters is a cellist, and was psyched to see that one of the musicians was a double bassist. We ate our picnic dinner, listened to some jazz, and enjoyed the cool breeze in the pine grove. Then the show began, and we all sat on our blankets for two hours, riveted to the performances. We decided, after the show, that we liked it so much, we'd catch it again, or see more outdoor Shakespeare in the state.

Middlesex Community College is perched on a hill high enough that you can see the city of Middletown and its environs. On a clear day you can see all the way to Farmington and the UCONN Medical Center. Obviously, we didn't see that at 9:30 at night, but you know what we did see? Fireworks! Yes, I FINALLY SAW FIREWORKS!!! They weren't directly in town, but we could see them over towards Farmington, and closer to us, in either Portland or East Hampton. (We couldn't really tell). But we got a good, clear glimpse of fireworks going off, and while I did not get any pictures, it was truly exciting. We parked the car in an empty section of the parking lot, got out, and watched the fireworks for almost half an hour. What a perfect way to cap off a terrific evening!

I will have some "Twelfth Night" pictures up soon.

And to think I was complaining about boredom earlier today!

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