By Victoria Reidling, BHS Class of 2026
“If I’ve learned one thing from this play, it’s that drinking, swearing, and quarreling never pays off.”
That’s the assessment of BHS senior Tristan Latham, who plays the hapless suitor Andrew Aguecheek in Bedford High School’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night.”
The Bedford High School Performing Arts Department will present “Twelfth Night,” the classic Shakespearean comedy about love and mistaken identity, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18 in the BHS Auditorium.
“Twelfth Night” is the story of a girl named Viola, who, after becoming lost at sea, disguises herself as a guy and works for Count Orsino, whom she falls in love with, but who loves Lady Olivia. Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, who was also on the boat, is saved by the sea captain Antonio, who throughout the play has an unrequited love for Sebastian.
Meanwhile, Olivia falls for “Cesario,” who is Viola in disguise, while Olivia’s servant Maria leads a series of pranks (with the help of Sir Andrew and Lady Toby) against the poor Malvolio, Olivia’s pompous butler.
Memorizing Shakespeare’s dialogue was a challenge, but one the cast embraced. “I’ve always wanted to be in a Shakespeare play, and this is one of my favorites,” said junior John Mitchell, who plays Malvolio.
Throughout the rehearsal process, the actors became more comfortable and confident in their ability to portray the characters. Sophomore Brooke D’Andrea, who plays the servant girl Maria, concurred.
“Although “Twelfth Night” [can be] hard to understand, the actors are doing a great job expressing their lines,” she said.
The cast is really excited to share this play. The hard work they’ve put in has really paid off through their acting. Though the cast is on the smaller side, that has allowed the group to develop closer bonds.
“I really enjoy the small cast,” said freshman Emma Cohen, who plays the clown Feste. “It gives me the opportunity to get to know everyone. The cast is really kind and has been welcoming.”
Junior Violet Gould, who plays Lady Toby Belch, agrees.
“This show has been so much fun. We’ve gotten so close as a cast and community.” And sophomore Abigail Strickland noted, “My character has been super fun. I like it with less people. It feels like everyone really gets to know everyone.”
Reflecting on their final year in BHS theatre, seniors Shannon Sullivan, who plays Viola, and Cate Galante, the assistant director, expressed pride and gratitude.
Sullivan said, “This show means so much to me. As an actor, I have learned a lot, and getting to work with such a supportive cast has brought me so much joy. The show has so many themes that are still relevant today, but it is also very witty and will make you laugh. I’ve loved getting to play a character who is so strong and confident in her power. I could not have asked for a better fall play for my last year at BHS.”
“Being able to assistant-direct “Twelfth Night” was such a wonderful experience,” Galante said. “I have always loved analyzing and working with Shakespeare, so helping the cast along this journey has been wonderful. Usually, I’m onstage for the school productions, but being on the crew side of things has really opened my eyes and made me appreciate everything that goes on behind the scenes, even more than I did before. The cast has been working really hard on this performance, and it pays off. Come see ‘Twelfth Night.’ You don’t want to miss it!”
Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Department website: https://bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets.html. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students. The show, adapted by E. Holmes, runs 90 minutes with one intermission.