Annie Roberts as Viola and Makayla Ashenden as OliviaAnnie Roberts as Viola and Makayla Ashenden as Olivia in the University Players production of Twelfth Night, this weekend at the Essex Hall Theatre.

Shakespearean comedy delivers laughs

The University Players opening weekend of Twelfth Night brought in packed houses for performances of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy, reports the theatre company’s marketing co-ordinator Kristen Siapas.

“Audiences lauded the production as the most entertaining of the season, noting the work of costume designer Agatha Knelsen and set designer Nancy Perrin as well as the welcome addition of music, directed by student Jamie Brown-Hart from the School of Creative Arts,” she says.

On Sunday, the audience was treated to a talkback session with members of the cast and discussed the importance of professional training that the students receive in the BFA in Acting program.

“I can see how much my skill has grown over the last four years,” says graduating acting student Annie Roberts, who plays the lead role of Viola in the production. “Yes, we get our basic training, but there’s also skills you are taught such as contact work, improv, movement… This program has given me a lot of opportunities, and I’m very excited to graduate.”

Twelfth Night continues in the Essex Hall Theatre through April 2. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinée at 2 p.m. Visit for tickets and more information.

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