Shakespeare coming to Ventura

Matt Garcia of Ventura gets advice from instructor Joseph Fuqua about how to transmit the energy of his character during the Fearless Shakespeare Intensive. Photo by Joseph A. Garcia
Matt Garcia of Ventura gets advice from instructor Joseph Fuqua about how to transmit the energy of his character during the Fearless Shakespeare Intensive. Photo by Joseph A. Garcia

Rubicon Theatre Company presents the gender-bending romantic comedy Twelfth Night or What You Will, performed by the students of the Education Department’s Fearless Shakespeare Intensive, adapted and directed by Rubicon’s first company member and critically acclaimed actor Joseph Fuqua.

This hilarious tale of role reversal, unrequited love and mistaken identity receives a darkly romantic, goth-inspired reimagining by Fuqua and Dramaturg Dr. Jonathan Drahos. Twelfth Night or What You Will plays for only four performances when it opens on July 29.

Twelfth Night takes place in the fantastical land of Illyria. Twin siblings Viola and Sebastian are shipwrecked off the coast, each believing the other is dead. Nothing is what it seems in this strange place as Viola disguises herself as a man in order to be in Duke Orsino’s charge. The Duke is deeply infatuated with Olivia, a noblewoman in mourning. Posing as a man named Cesario, Viola on the Duke’s command woos Olivia on his behalf, only to have Olivia fall in love with the man Viola portrays. To make matters more difficult, Viola finds herself falling in love with the Duke. Adding to the confusion is Feste the Clown, the drunken Sir Toby Belch, the foolish Aquecheek, the arrogant Malvolio, and Sebastian, Viola’s presumed drowned brother. In the end, a madcap but bittersweet chain of events lead to startling revelations, confessions of the heart and authentic self-actualization.

Fearless Shakespeare is a three-week intensive that allows students ages 16-23 to work with industry experts as they immerse themselves in script analysis, scansion, verse work and character development. Students form a tight company of actors to bring one of the Bard’s greatest masterpieces to the Rubicon stage.

A weekend of public performances on July 29, 30 and 33. Part of the summer Education youth programs, this year marks the 15th anniversary of the Education program under the direction of Brian McDonald with Fearless Shakespeare in its eighth year.

For tickets and further information  and times call 667.2900 or www.rubicontheatre.org.

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