Production of 'The Malvolio Project'
Having been wickedly duped and humiliated, the steward Malvolio departed from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” saying, “I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you.”
Shamieh’s delightfully inventive sequel has Malvolio, now a war hero and commanding officer of the Legion of the Cross-Gartered, in a position to exact that revenge. Volina, the teenage daughter of Viola and Orsino, falls madly in love with him when she meets him by chance. She professes her love to him in writing; but upon reading her adolescent mash notes, Malvolio guards against being the butt of a joke yet again.
The ensuing mad mix involves the characters of Sir Toby Belch, Maria, Feste the Clown, Olivia, and Sebastian all making their way from “Twelfth Night” into “The Malvolio Project.” Stirring the pot even further is King Chadlio, the ruler of Illyria, among other island nations, who wants his son Furtado to marry Volina, in order to produce a worthy heir.
Like Shakespeare, Shamieh has included songs in her play, with music composed by Reynolds Guest Artist Matt Gould, composer of “Witness Uganda,” currently playing at the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.
Directing the production is assistant professor Cheryl McFarren. “ ‘The Malvolio Project’ has provided Denison students with a wonderful and challenging experience in theatre-making,” she says. “We’re looking forward to a whale of a production!”
Malvolio and Volina are played by first-year students Jack Caudle from Rockville, Md. and Heather Grimm from Hopewell, Pa.. Others in the cast are senior Guram Sazvarelidze from Tbilisi, Georgia, juniors Merlin Bell from Swansea, Ill. and Anna Cohn from Chicago, sophomores Imani Abernathy from Chicago, William Hamilton from Greenville, S.C., Dyamone Hopkins from Chicago and Aleksa Kaups from Shaker Heights, Ohio, and first-year students Hailey Karrick from Middletown, Ohio, Katy King from Glendale, Calif., Meghan McGuire from Brunswick, Maine, Dominic Pfister from Columbus, Ohio, Katie Scott from Louisville, Ky., and Nicholas van Atta from Powell, Ohio. Scott also is the assistant director for the production.
Kevin Wines is music director and keyboardist with junior William Blount from Newark, Ohio, on drums.
Co –Scenic Designers are associate professor Peter Pauzé and sophomore Jeremy Hollis from Montgomery Village, Md. Pauzé also is the lighting designer. Associate Professor Cynthia Turnbull is costume designer and senior Jaime Weinfeld from Navarre, Ohio, is designing the make-up and hair styles and serving as graphic artist for the production. Emily Smith from Mars, Pa. is the dramaturg and Granville resident Jay Sachs is the stage manager.