Illyria, or What You Will
Freely adapted from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
By Jonelle Walker and Mitchell Hébert
Directed by Mitchell Hébert
October 18 to November 18, 2018
Gunston Arts Center Theatre Two
Opening night: Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 7:30 pm
Illyria reimagines Shakespeare’s comedy of mixed-signal love in a downtown Manhattan dive bar in the early 1980s, where identity, sex, and gender are what you will. But who will fall in love with whom? And what music of love will the divas and DJ play? This fresh slant on a classic shakes up Shakespeare with the driving beats and dingy glamor of the post-disco era.
Jonelle Walker (Co-adapter) is a Helen Hayes Award–nominated playwright, theatre-maker, and scholar who lives and works in Washington, DC, but will always call Texas home. Her work as a playwright includes TAME. (2016), Prophets of Doom (2016), The Theatre of Self-Loathing (2015), and numerous short plays. She is a Company Member and Associate Producer with Rorschach Theatre. Jonelle holds an MA and is pursuing a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland.
Mitchell Hébert (Director, Co-adapter) has worked as a director at Round House Theatre (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Glengarry Glen Ross), Forum Theatre (The Illusion), Olney Theatre Center (Rabbit Hole), and Adventure Theatre (Judy Moody and Stink). As an actor his recent roles include Richard Burbage and Ben Jonson in The Book of Will (Round House Theatre), Roy Cohn in Angels in America parts 1 and 2 (a co-production of Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center), and Arnold in Hir (Woolly Mammoth Theatre). At the University of Maryland where he is on the faculty he has directed Eurydice, The Amish Project, and The Distance from Here and co-directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was performed at UMD and The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, in Beijing, China. Mitch has received Helen Hayes Awards for both acting (After the Fall, Theatre J) and directing (Glengarry Glen Ross at Round House Theatre) in addition to several nominations as an actor and director.
The Cast of Illyria