Shakespeare meets the indie rock scene … “12th Night – A Rock Musical” is a new and fresh interpretation of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. All Shakespeare’s words … with monologues and songs set to original music. The concept is the brainchild of Jay Africa, and composer for the piece. Directed by Erin McBride Africa, with arrangements and musical direction by Justin Horwitz.
“Music is used as a metaphor for love throughout the play, says Erin McBride Africa, the director. “The play opens with the Duke Orsino requesting music to nourish his love-sick soul, Feste, the fool, performs songs throughout the action.”
“Putting his words to music first seemed like a formidable challenge” says Jay Afirica, “But as I dove into his words, I discovered that much of the play already lent itself to being set to music. Lines restructured themselves into verses, rhymes revealed themselves in unexpected places, and rhythms marched out of the dialogue as if on their own. “
The play is set in the fictitious bar, Olivia’s Orchard, the live 4 piece rock band, named Duke Orsino and Thunderlove, plays on stage with the actors, The actors sing and play during their songs in an open mic night fashion, while pursuing their loves.
“Ultimately, it is about connecting with an audience,” says David Stears, the company’s Executive Director. “And this is a great way to bring a modern sensibility to the text and story. Shakespeare’s lyric text is a perfect for modern singer/songwriter/indy music style. Most of these songs can be in the radio tomorrow.”
12th Night – A Rock Musical has six performances: July 18, 19, 25, 26 & August 15, 16. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at Rivendale Park, in Towsley Canyon. The Shakespeare in the Park series is part of the LASummerFEST, an eclectic summer cultural festival through August. All performances are free (donations suggested). Bring a chair or a blanket, the family, and a picnic and enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars. For more information about the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, visit www.SCShakespeareFEST.org.
The LA SummerFest is a summer cultural festival presented by the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.