TWELFTH NIGHT, or WHAT YOU WILL: And some of what you won’t!

Alex Panagopoulos (Sir Toby), JC Wallace (Sir Andrew), Melanie Carrazzo (Feste). Photo credit Dave Cantelli

Attleboro Community Theatre (ACT) celebrates William Shakespeare’s 460th birthday and concludes its 66th season with the Bard’s TWELFTH NIGHT (or WHAT YOU WILL), directed by Jay Burns, with original music and musical direction by Joey Kayan. This romantic comedy is believed to have been written circa 1602. The twelfth night after Christmas day was originally a Catholic holiday, and these were sometimes occasions for revelry, like other Christian feasts. The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected around this day. Servants often dressed up as their masters, men as women, etc. This history of festive ritual and carnivalesque reversal is the cultural origin of the play’s gender-confusion-driven plot. 

Separated from her twin brother Sebastian (Abbie Levinson) in a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy named Cesario (Nicolina “Nikki” Akraboff) and becomes a servant to Duke Orsino (Jacqueline Sophia), whom she falls in love with. He sends her to woo the Countess Olivia (Emily Rizza) on his behalf, but Olivia instead falls in love with Cesario. Meanwhile, Olivia’s drunkard uncle, Sir Toby Belch (Alex Panagopoulos) and his friend, Sir Andrew Aguecheek (JC Wallace) wreak havoc, much to the chagrin of Malvolio, Olivia’s steward. Still with me? Soon Sebastian returns to cause even more confusion, chaos, and comedy!

Some Puritans — like Malvolio (Michael Pugliese) — just aren’t having it though! Although you may need a Venn diagram to keep things straight initially, it all becomes clear as love wins out in the end. Meanwhile, you don’t have to think too hard as the entire cast brings the laughs. 


The only thing about humans that has changed since the caveman is clothing. Instead of cloak and dagger, today it’s a hoodie and handgun! Costumes and props by Jeanne Smith reflect our modern era, yet the actors speak in the poet’s 17th-century tongue. “All too often, we pigeonhole Shakespeare,” says Burns. “All of the themes of Twelfth Night — desire, humility, the chaos of life — all of these things are not limited to the 1600s when the play first premiered. Today, we struggle with these things in our everyday life. Having a more modern production filled with paisley suits and Chuck Taylor sneakers allows us to relate a lot easier to Shakespeare’s poetry.” 

Rounding out the cast are Antonio (Anthony Medeiros), Feste (Melanie Carrazzo), Maria (Ruthie Winters), Fabian (Marissa Simas), Valentine (Emily “Emmy” Lamarre), Curio (Marisa Melo), A Sea Captain and Priest (Stephanie Geddes), Olivia’s Attendant and Officer 1 (Abby Fratus), and Officer 2 (Charlie Lamb). Light Design by Douglas Greene, Kaylee Martinez, and Alex Terreault set the mood for dreamy nights by the water or estate gardens. Set by Tammy England allows for the mischief these zany cohorts create!

ACT presents Twelfth Night through June 16. Show runs about three hours with intermission. For more information, visit