Independent Shakespeare Co. Presents a Very Downton Abbey World in Twelfth Night

ISC - Twelfth Night

This summer, Shakespeare’s delightful and romantic comedy is given a Downton Abbey-twist with elegant and sumptuous costumes and the ringing sounds of the early twentieth-century music hall as Independent Shakespeare Co. presents Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night or What You Will, directed by ISC’s artistic director Melissa Chalsma. Previews begin Thursday, June 26 at 7:00 pm and the production will open on Saturday, July 5 and run through Sunday, August 31 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. All ISC Summer Shakespeare productions are FREE to the public! Twelfth Night or What You Will performs in repertory with The Taming of the Shrew.

Comments Independent Shakespeare Co.’s Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma, “Twelfth Night is a perfect comedy for a summer night. It’s a blend of high and low humor and music, and will play perfectly in Griffith Park. We’re setting it in a Downton Abbey-like world, with clear distinctions between the upstairs and downstairs parts of the household. As the night goes on, masters and servants get more intertwined, feelings get more complicated, and the play spills out into the audience. The production features both Shakespeare’s songs and original music as well as music-hall standards.” 

Count Orsino is madly in love with the grieving Countess Olivia, who has sworn off society for seven years. As Orsino ignores affairs of state in favor of affairs of the heart, Olivia leaves her power in the hands of her fun-despising steward, Malvolio. Into this upside down world lands the unsinkable Viola. Disguised as a boy and longing for her lost brother she also falls prey to the heady scent of Illyria. Adding mayhem to the mix are a drunken uncle, a besotted knight, and a fool who may be the only sane resident of this beguiling place.

The cast includes Julia Aks, Ryan Vincent Anderson, Danny Campbell, Joseph Culliton, Thomas Ehas, Luis Galindo, André Martin, David Melville, Ashley Nguyen, Nikhil Pai, Juan Parada, Bernadette Sullivan, Kalean Ung, Claudia de Vasco and Xavier J. Watson.

Season production design is by Caitlin Lainoff. Season Lighting Design is by Bosco Flanagan. Composer is David Melville. Costume Design is by Garry Lennon.

June 26 – August 31, 2014
7:00 pm
The Old Zoo in Griffith Park.
All ISC Summer Shakespeare productions are FREE to the public.
For more information, please call (818) 710-6306 or visit


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Zumsteg
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 18:58:38

    Ooo – Excited for this interpretation!



  2. Shakespeare in LA
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 20:49:42

    Me too! Especially after seeing the clip they posted of David Melville as a one man band playing his ukulele with a drum and cymbal on his back.



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