The Arena Players Repertory Theater Company is preparing its 27th annual outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival, featuring the enchanting and beloved comedy Twelfth Nightand a modern adaptation of Othello, The Black of Angola.
Presented on the stage in the scenic cobblestone courtyard of the Vanderbilt Mansion, performances for Twelfth Night run July 5-26, and for Othello July 29-August 30 – on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 7:00 PM.
Theater-goers are encouraged to picnic on the majestic lawns overlooking Long Island Sound before the performance. All seats are $15.00. To purchase tickets, call Arena Players at 516-293-0674. Visit www.ArenaPlayers.org. In case of an inclement weather forecast, call 631-854-5570 to see if performance will be given.
Twelfth Night is a comedy believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centers on twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola (who is disguised as a boy) falls in love with Duke Orsino, who in turn is in love with the Countess Olivia. Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her, thinking she is a man.
In Othello, The Black of Angola, Cassio is passed over for promotion in the Angolan army in favor of a younger man. Cassio is determined to avenge himself on his commander, Othello. Iago, whose evil knows no limits, plots to destroy the unsuspecting general.
Othello has secretly married Desdemona, whom he loves, and Iago chooses to play upon a weakness he discerns in his master – jealousy. With cunning and insinuation, he uses as his pawns Cassio and Roderigo, who was formerly a suitor of Desdemona, to besmirch her reputation.
Previous Arena Players Shakespearean productions at the Vanderbilt include Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, As You Like It, and Much Ado About Nothing.
Arena Players Repertory Company is a non-profit company funded in part by Suffolk County under the auspices of the Office of Cultural Affairs; New York State Council for the Arts; and individual contributions.