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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

February 1, 2010

Rehearsing Twelfth Night, by director Julian Wiles

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 1:36 pm

And we’re off!  The first week of rehearsals have been great fun mixing classic Shakespeare with mobland Chicago.  The cast are practicing their “gangsta” accents while striving to remain true to Shakespeare’s classic words.  We’ve all had great fun translating this classic comedy to the world of  The Untouchables, Chicago and the Roaring 20’s.  A countess’s court has been turned into a speakeasy, a court jester into a nightclub crooner, duels into boxing matches, and swords into tommy guns.  Twelfth Night is one of  Shakespeare’s funniest comedies — a comedy with a character named Sir Toby Belch has to be fun.  This original take on Shakespeare’s classic also includes original music and songs, composed especially for this show by resident music director, Amanda Wansa.  The songs keep Shakespeare’s original words with the music fashioned after ragtime and classic roaring 20’s blues.

We have a terrific cast which includes three members of this year’s Resident Professional Acting Company, four members of past Charleston Stage Resident Professional Acting Companies returning as guest artists, a great company of seasoned Charleston based performers, as well as a group of talented  new actors—newcomers to Charleston Stage.  Together it’s a terrific company of players. (I think Shakespeare would be pleased).  Already almost the entire show has been blocked. (Blocking refers to actors learning where they move, sit, stand, etc.)  Of course there’s much work still to be done, songs to be learned, characters to develop but we’re off to a great start.

Julian Wiles, Director of Twelfth Night.



(From left to right: Brian J. Porter as Curio, former Charleston Stage Resident Actor Amber Mann as Olivia, Charleston Stage Resident Actor Christopher M. Diaz as Orsino, and Nicholas Piccola as Valentine.)


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