July 18-August 24, 2013

by William Shakespeare

Directed By Lavina Jadhwani

Outdoors in Austin Gardens.

Shakespeare’s gotta brand new beat when Twelfth Night gets rocked to a 60’s California Beat under the direction of Lavina Jadhwani. Illyria is Surf City where Sir Toby Belch (Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Jack Hickey) has “Fun, Fun, Fun” ’til Malvolio (Will Clinger) takes his flagon away. They are joined by Festival Theatre Artistic Associate Jhenai Mootz (Lady Anne in Richard III) and an all star cast of Festival Theatre favorites and newcomers when Twelfth Night  previews Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19 at 8 PM .The beach-buff, super cool production opens Saturday, July 20 (44th anniversary of the moon landing) at 8 PM and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM until August 24.


Of the updated setting, Jadhwani says: “Just like the court of Count Orsino, the early 60’s  Beach party movies chronicled the tension between  the “Clean Teens” Insiders  to the “Greasers” or “square” Outsiders and the desperation of those who didn’t fit in. The 60’s Beach movies with their bouncy, youthful music  told a world only just hearing the rumblings of the sexual revolution, civil rights, war protest that nothing would change and that everything was still going to be okay. The movies created a mythical world where everyone would, after all the plots and ploys, still be safe. As for sex, it is, as the phrase then put it, “NATO, No Action Talk Only. It’s a young play and I believe the 60’s celebration of youth will prove a perfect and pleasing setting.”


“If music be the food of love, play on.” sigh the lovelorn Count Orsino in Twelfth Nightor What You Will  which follows Festival Theatre’s Jeff Recommended brilliant and brooding staging of Amadeus, a darker celebration of music. In this final production of Festival Theatre’s critically acclaimed 2013 season, Shakespeare’s original lyrics are set to a Beach Boys back-beat by composer Joshua Dumas and will be sung by the company accompanied by actors on guitar, uke, drums, trumpet, and tambourine.

Tickets for Amadeus and Twelfth Night are available online or by phone 708.445.4440, or in person at either the Oak Park Visitors Center, 1010 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL during business hours or at the Austin Gardens box office an hour before performance. SO, don’t forget … ‘SURF’S UP!’


Viola (Lucy Carapetyan), Sea Captain, Valentine,  Second Officer, Priest (Kevin Barry CrowleyCurio, First Officer (Jackson McLaughlin), Orsino (Chris Ballou), Maria (Katy Carolina Collins), Sir Toby Belch (Jack Hickey*), Sir Andrew Aguecheek (John Crosthwaite), Antonio (Pat King), Sebastian  (Luke Daigle), Feste (Scot West), Olivia (Jhenai Mootz), Malvolio (Will Clinger*), Fabian (Bryan Wakefield)

production staff

Director (Lavina Jadhwani), Choreographer (Kate McGroarty), Stage Manager (Katrina Herrmann*), Set Designer (Joe Schermoly), Costume Designer  (Emily McConnell), Composer (Joshua Dumas), Props Designer  (Jesse Gaffney), Technical Director  (Brian Browne)

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

“Every comic turn in this complicated tale is executed with grace and verve. Will Clinger (as Malvolio) and Scot West (as Feste) in particular turn in the kind of subtle, intelligent performances that make even Shakespeare’s more forced comic scenes laugh-out-loud funny. Even more impressive, though, is how well this production brings out the deeper tones in the play—both lead females, Viola and Olivia, are dealing with the deaths of beloved siblings—without damaging the comedy.” —Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader

“… fun and captivating…director Jadhwani seems to effectively capture the underlying sense of bitterness, sadness, and loss behind much of the raucous comedy.” – Doug Deuchler, Wednesday Journal

“Shakespeare in the park is like champagne in a hot tub.” Rory Leahy, CenterStage

“…upping the comic ante is the perpetually drunken, dynamic duo of Sir Andrew Aguecheek (John Crosthwaite) and Sir Toby Belch (Jack Hickey),  a winning pair of buffoons who hatch alcohol-fueled antics during late nights at the Tiki bar, sucking down drinks with umbrellas, served in coconut shells.” Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun Times

“Clinger is delightful his portrayal of the pranked Malvolio.  Clinger is a fun talent and always entertaining.” Ed Vincent, Oak Park Journal 

”  …there are delightful performances at this shindig … And those famous cross-garters, donned by Malvolio after he’s gulled into believing that his lady-boss, Olivia, thinks they’re hot, have seldom been put to better use than on Clinger’s extra-lean form.” Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune 



Photos Courtesy of Johnny Knight Photography


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