Alumna, Student and Staff Collaborate on “Twelfth Night” In Winters
Alumna Olivia Caserta (B.A., theatre and dance, ‘22) and undergraduate student Megan Abbanat are co-directing the Winters Shakespeare Workshop production of the Bard’s romantic comedy Twelfth Night which performs July 21 and 22 at the Winters City Park playground stage. The production features music direction by Nicholas Carvajal, librarian for the UC Davis Department of Music.
This summer Caserta and Abbanat, who have helped guide the rebirth of teen theater in Winters since 2022, lead a crew, a cast of 15 teens, a dance team of a dozen preteen performers, and a five-piece band. An Extended Learning Grant from the Winters Joint Unified School District has helped launch this year’s production, with ongoing support from Winters Friends of the Library.
“It’s really inspiring to get to be a part of creating that community for the ensemble,” said Abbanat. “Establishing the culture of energy, work ethic, expectations of conduct, and friendships that will help the actors’ work be the most authentic portrayal of their characters and story onstage.”
In the comedy, Viola, separated from her twin Sebastian after a shipwreck, dresses as a boy and works for the Duke Orsino, whom she falls in love with. Orsino is in love with the Countess Olivia, and sends Viola to court her for him, but Olivia falls for Viola instead. Romantic complications, mistaken identity and schemes go awry in this classic comedy.
“I think that this production brings a sense of togetherness to the community as people from many different walks of life come together to create a meaningful piece,” said Caserta. “I am so excited for the community to see these incredibly talented actors shine on stage and let themselves be vulnerable. Theatre takes courage, and these kids have an enormous amount of heart and talent.”
Performances are free and begin at 8 p.m.