EWU Theatre Program Presents Twelfth Night the Musical


Photo taken by Caden Davis

By Samuel Cash, Reporter

The EWU Theatre program presents Twelfth Night the Musical, an adaptation by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub, music and lyrics written by Shaina Taub. The original story is a Shakespearian romantic comedy about love and identity, but the adaptation includes a far larger cast of community members and more inclusivity. 

“It feels like a brilliant adaptation,” Director Jeff Sanders said. “You don’t lose Twelfth Night, and yet it’s still just 90 minutes long.”

The goal with this adaptation is not to lose the story and feel of Twelfth Night, but to start all over and create a better world, Sanders said. The adaptation addresses topics of self discovery, fulfillment, and the importance of community. In doing this, the EWU theatre program has included a vibrantly colored set different from what many people may think of when they think of Shakespeare. 

“We used a lot of architecture from the French Quarter, New Orleans. It also has Pop and classic Broadway,” Sanders said. 

Each character is entwined within the set and costumes, as well, bringing their own distinct personality into the presentation of the musical. There are gags built into the costumes and set, enhancing the comedy of the original Twelfth Night. 


Photo taken by Caden Davis

“It’s such a cool intertwined story,” Blake Carlson, who plays Malvolio in the production, said. “As an actor, I love making the outcast or ‘villain’ characters into characters the audience can find some sympathy for. And Malvolio has definitely been one of those roles.”

But the best part about the production, Sanders said, is the cast. “I love their energy and willingness to create.” The cast has spent hours working to perfect the production and bring the characters to life, spending five or six nights every week for hours a day at rehearsals. 

Sanders hopes the audiences takes away something different than the original production. “You experience more empathy. This wasn’t a play about excluding anybody, but all about including everybody. I think Shakespeare is less worried about that in the original script.”

With the twist in inclusivity and community, the cast hopes audiences can recognize the love of each character and leave the musical with more love and empathy with people surrounding them. 

Carlson believes audiences will enjoy the love of the community most with this production.  “It does an amazing job of explaining the different kinds of love and why we should be trying to love everyone around us deeper than surface-level.”

Tickets are $5 for EWU students and $10 for general admission.


Showtimes are: 

Friday, March 3rd at 7:30 P.M.

Saturday, March 4th at 7:30 P.M.

Sunday, March 5th at 2 P.M.


Thursday, March 9th at 5 P.M.

Friday, march 10th at 7:30 P.M.

Saturday March 11th at 7:30 P.M.


More information about the musical can be found here.