TWELFTH NIGHT Characters
Jack T. Lane
Louis Armstrong Theatre - Performing Arts Center
1 Campus Drive
Allendale, MI 49401
(all with speaking lines)
VIOLA (leading lady) is twin sister of SEBASTIAN (so they’re kinda lookalikes), both of whom were shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria and then rescued. However, neither knows that the other has survived the shipwreck. She learns that a generous Duke (Orsino) rules Illyria and she disguises herself as a young boy (Caesario) in order to find employment in Orsino’s household. However, she falls in love with Orsino at the same time that Orsino sends Viola/Caesario to Olivia with repeated love messages--thus causing Olivia to fall in love with Viola/Caesario.
COUNTESS OLIVIA (2nd leading lady) is a young & wealthy widow in Illyria, lamenting the death of her brother, and who has been refusing the love suits of Duke Orsino who is passionately devoted to her. She is beautiful, well educated, amusing, intelligent and assertive in running her household. She falls in love with Duke Orsino’s love messenger, Caesario, who is really the disguised Viola posing as a page-boy.
MARIA (comic servant) is Olivia’s Head of Household. She is a witty, young, attractive, clever and educated servingwoman who has her sights set on Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s cousin. But she hammers Sir Toby continually about his drinking bouts and riotous habits. She devises the plot to embarrass Olivia’s haughty majordomo, Malvolio, and have him locked up as a lunatic.
VALENTINA is an educated noblewoman, attending on the Duke Orsino. She is young and attractive, and flirts with Lord Curio, one of Orsino’s courtiers. She loves court gossip and she occasionally delivers messages for Orsino.
4 SERVINGWOMEN in Olivia’s & Orsino’s households, some with speaking lines and one of whom sings a a duet with Feste.
(all with speaking lines)
ORSINO (leading man) Young, handsome, open-minded, brave in battle, hopelessly in love with himself & the the Countess Olivia. He hires the disguised Viola as his Page to run “love messages” between himself & Olivia. At the end, he realizes he had a “strange affection” towards his page when he/she reveals herself as the disguised Viola, and he decides to marry her in the final scene.
SEBASTIAN (2nd leading man) is Viola’s brother, shipwrecked with her and also brought to Illyria by rescuing sailors, who is also unaware that his sibling is alive. Because of confused identities & lookalike siblings, he gets in brawls with Countess Olivia’s relatives, marries the Countess, and also loses contact with his rescuer, the brave Antonio. It is only in the final scene that he finds Viola again, and discovers Antonio and rescues him from prison.
CURIO is a courtier of Duke Orsino, and he flirts a lot with the noblewoman Valentina. Most of the time, he simply hangs around Orsino’s court and keeps him company, along with other nonspeaking noblemen & women.
MALVOLIO (comic butt of jokes) is the stuck-up, puritanical chief of staff of Countess Olivia’s household. He puts down all the other servants and especially dislikes the riotous habits of Sir Toby Belch. The servants play a trick on him by making him believe that Olivia secretly loves him, and he’s so fatheaded that he actually believes it. After he tries to jump Olivia, she throws him into an insane asylum until the final scene when he’s released and mocked by everyone.
FESTE (Guest Artist Role) (Shakespearean “fool”) A singing clown who is a member of Olivia’s household but who wanders freely throughout Illyria, including Orsino’s palace as well. He enjoys partying with Sir Toby and the others, all of whom (except Malvolio) seem to like him immensely.
SIR TOBY BELCH (Guest Artist Role) (Comic lead) An impoverished though “dashing” knight who is a distant cousin of Olivia, and who sponges off her by living in her palace. He hangs about with Sir Andrew Aguecheek (a complete idiot whom Sir Toby fleeces for money & liquor) and Olivia’s steward, Fabian. Constantly gets drunk, causes brawls, etc. etc. He marries Maria at the end of the play.
SIR ANDREW AGUECHEEK (comic relief) is a nobleman but also a moron, hanging out at Olivia’s palace as one of her “suitors.” He spends all of his time believing Sir Toby’s flattery, getting drunk, and running himself into deeper debts. He and Sir Toby are finally beat-up by Sebastian whom they mistake for the “womanly” Caesario (the disguised Viola) whom they were trying to bully.
FABIAN (straight-man) is Olivia’s steward who enjoys partying with sir Toby & the others, but who is pretty sober-minded on the whole. He has a good sense of humor and is an eager participant in the plot hatched by Maria & Sir Toby & Sir Andrew to trick Malvolio into doing stupid things and revealing himself as an idiot.
SEA CAPTAIN Appears in only the first scene onshore with Viola after her rescue. Could be a grizzled old guy or a young one. He promises to introduce her to Orsino as a boy and help her gain employment as Orsino’s page.
PRIEST is an ally of Olivia who secretly marries her and Sebastian (whom she mistakes for the disguised Viola/Caesario).
ANTONIO is a young and dashing sea captain who rescues Sebastian & brings him to Illyria. But Antonio once fought in naval battles against Orsino’s fleet, so he must hang out disguised in Illyria while looking after Sebastian. Believing the disguised Viola to be Sebastian, he defends him/her when Sir Toby & Sir Andrew try to bully Viola, and he beats-up Toby & Andrew.
5 SERVANTS, MEMBERS OF THE WATCH, SEAMEN, ETC.
|Last Modified Date: February 28, 2011|
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