The Twelfth Night is coming to Salt Lake Community College’s Black Box Theatre this April. Frank Gerrish, Assistant Professor and the production director, is excited to be doing a comedy. He has gathered a cast and crew of SLCC students, faculty and staff, as well as actors from the community.
The play will not be done in traditional Shakespearian costume. It instead will be in early twentieth century costume, or as Gerrish put it, “Circa Titanic.” Its location, which is traditionally near water, is the Caribbean.
“There is no such thing as a Shakespeare way to do it. A lot of people do it within two hundred years of Shakespeare, but that is three different eras…there is this misnomer that there is a way to do Shakespeare,” said Gerrish, ” When I do Shakespeare, I try to put it in a place where people can understand it.”
Another thing that has some changes is the music. Gerrish says The Twelfth Night features more music than any other Shakespeare play.
“There are no melodies, so I said what can I do to make this effective to the audience. So what I have done is substituted classic folk songs, like City of New Orleans, some Bob Dylan and a couple of jazz standards, My funny Valentine. Because I feel thoughts are the songs that capture the essence of the relationship in the moment,” said Gerrish.
This is a nostalgic time for Gerrish and his cast and crew. This is the last play in the current Black Box Theatre, which is the size of a classroom. This summer, work will begin on a new space for the theatre as part of the plans for the Center for New Media.
“We are going to be going from a forty-five seat theatre to a hundred and ten seats,” said Gerrish.
Tickets are free to SLCC students, $5 for faculty/staff and $10 for the public. Tickets can be purchased at The Grand Theatre box office. The Twelfth Night will be running April 8-24 at 7:30 p.m. The Black Box Theatre is located at South City Campus, 1575 S. State St. in Salt Lake City.