By Sabrina SHELTON
At this festive time of year, people find comfort and joy in holiday traditions. Movies are usually the best way for a family to cuddle up and get into the holiday spirit. But what about a live play? “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” are classic crowd pleasers, but this year why not try something new yet still festive? Enter Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”
A play of romance and secret identities, “Twelfth Night” is a reference to the twelfth night after Christmas Day, often called Epiphany. Shakespeare Kids, an educational Shakespeare Company, will be performing the show for La Crescenta audiences on Saturday, Dec 7.
This production will feature 11 actors, ages 8-14, and, as it is a youth performance, will be an abridged version of the play with a run time of around 45 minutes. Rebekah Czarnecki, company owner and 20-year theatre veteran, said she is always proud of the performers.
“We’ve been working with some kids for 15 years. They started when they were 5. It’s nice to see [them] come out of their shell,” she said.
When many kids start with the company, they are shy and quiet. After working with Czarnecki and the team of other adult working actors and directors, the confidence of the kids shines through.
“A handful of performers are in their fifth or sixth performance. They’ve come such a long way,” said Czarnecki, speaking of the children’s’ progress as well as their desire to remain with the company.
Doing an abridged version is helpful for the company because it still allows kids to learn about Shakespeare and his plays, but makes it more manageable for the actors and more palatable for the audience. “Twelfth Night” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are usually fan favorites to produce, and this production will be following only one major plot line.
Shakespeare Kids works with all levels of performers across Los Angeles. “Twelfth Night” is showing for one night only, Saturday, Dec 7, at 5 p.m. at St Luke’s of the Mountains Church, 2563 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta. Tickets are $5 and can be found at ShakespeareKids.org.