Shakespeare takes to the museum
Contributed: Brittany Allen
TWelth night on a saturday afternoon: Members of Portland Actors Ensemble in a scene from Shakespeare’s Twelth Night Saturday at Maryhill Museum.
Kicking off their 43rd consecutive summer of Shakespeare in the Park, Portland Actors Ensemble (PAE) returned to Maryhill Museum on Saturday, July 21, to perform Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for an eager audience varying in age from entranced toddlers to life-long theatre enthusiasts.
The play was also performed by the Goldendale High School Drama Club last November.
In order to transport the crowd from the sculpture-filled Washington garden to the far-off land of Illyria, PAE needed only a minimal set of interchangeable furniture and props and the ability to provoke imagination.
Within moments the space could go from being a ship in a storm to the Duke Orsino’s chambers, to Countess Olivia’s garden.
Twelfth Night is a tale of misunderstandings beginning with two shipwrecked siblings losing contact and each believing the other to be dead. The sister, Viola, assumes the role of the Duke Orsino’s messenger, falls in love with the Duke, and accidentally leads the Countess Olivia to fall in love with her—or rather her male counterpart. The arrival of Viola’s brother later in the play does nothing to help the confusion. The comedy ends happily for everyone.
Anticipated for the summer of 2013’s performances are The Merchant of Venice and Cymbeline, which have both been classified as some of Shakespeare’s tragic comedies.
PAE describes its mission in presenting the plays as “to bring financially-accessible, classical theatre to Portland area audiences in a variety of environments.” For more information or to donate to PAE, visit www.portlandactors.org.