The Twelfth Night, Lumbersexualized

Attention all lovers, poets and dreamers: this holiday season The Bard is returning to the

Whitehorse stage.

The Guild Hall will launch its second show of the season on Nov. 26 with Shakespeare’s classic comedy Twelfth Night, Or What You Will.

The play was first performed in 1602 and takes a comedic spin on mistaken identities, love, and all around mischief.  

It centres on a young lady named Viola (played by Krisandra Reid) who, with her twin brother Sebastian (played by Clair Mooney) are involved in a shipwreck off the coast of Illyria. After losing Sebastian and fearing him dead, Viola meets up with a sea captain (played by Telek Rogan ) who helps her gain the service of the Duke Orsino (played by Logan Larkin  by disguising her as a man named Cesario.

Viola falls in love with the Duke who only has eyes for the Countess Olivia (played by Sarah Ott). He enlists Cesario (Viola) as an intermediary to profess his love to her. The countess then falls for Cesario, not knowing it is Viola in disguise, and a 17th century love triangle ensues.

This is not the only comic device that Shakespeare offers in Twelfth Night as there is a host of characters who deploy their own mischievous agendas throughout the play.

Yukon Art Centre Artistic Director Eric Epstein returns to the director’s chair for the Guild’s production, bringing his love and knowledge of Shakespeare’s work to life with a modern contemporary and Yukon twist: Setting it in a “Yukon lodge” and placing it in a world of “hip, urban Yukoner lumber sexual” as Epstein puts it.

Epstein will also be using a variety of multimedia techniques for the show that inspired him in Germany this summer.

“I did this workshop with a group called the Gob Squad Collective out of Berlin, and they had a lot of fun using tech,” Epstein says. “I thought this is something I’d like to use, to help bridge the gap, between the audience and the show.”

Epstein is no stranger to the Guild Hall. He was hired from Vancouver to direct a Guild show in 1984. He fell in love with the territory and spent most of the 1980s living here. In 1999 Epstein officially made Whitehorse his home becoming a permanent fixture in the Yukon arts scene. He was also the Guild Halls Artistic Director from 2001-2010.

Epstein has a simple answer to why Shakespeare’s plays have stood the test of time. “Because they’re quite brilliant,” he says. “They tell stories very well, from a point of view, in narrative they’re quite compelling, they explore human action. And delve into many aspects of human behaviour”

The cast is comprised of 12 actors who are new and returning to the Guild Stage and they’ve taken a collaborative approach helping to create their sound and tech for the production.

“We have a wide range of extraordinarily talented and hardworking people,” Epstein says.

For those who think Shakespeare may not be their cup of tea, Epstein encourages them to check it out.

“There’s no stuffiness about it, we’re having a lot of fun with people doing this play, not taking ourselves too seriously and keeping the tone of the play very playful,” he says.

Twelfth Night or What you Will runs Nov. 26 to Dec. 12 at the Guild Hall, which is located at 27 – 14 Ave. in Porter Creek. The play starts at 8 p.m. sharp.

For ticket information go to

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