Twelfth Night

Brother and sister (twins), separated in a shipwreck, each believes the other drowned; the girl dresses as her brother and gets a job working for a Count (with whom she secretly falls in love) delivering love lyrics to a Countess; the Countess falls in love with the messenger, who of course is actually a girl, who winds up in a duel with a cowardly knight before all turns out well for everyone. Almost everyone. “A little thing would make me tell them how much I lack of a man.”

For those of you who provide parts a scene at a time, this Character Chart shows all the characters' lines in each scene: Twelfth Night

If your group reads the plays straight through in one sitting and you want to divide up the parts, we have a number of “cast” lists already divided up for you. These are text files that you edit to suit your group. We always recommend in a straight-through read that each participant take a moment beforehand to mark their parts—then everything proceeds so smoothly.

Cast for 9, plus a Reader for Stage Directions
Cast for 10, plus a Reader for Stage Directions
Cast for 11, plus a Reader for Stage Directions

For some great short articles on such things as the genre of romantic comedy; disguise, gender, and identity, melancholy Malvolio, puritanism, court festivities, and more, see the University of Virginia page on Twelfth Night.


Our ISC Readers’ Edition:
This is an audio recording of the play by professional actors with sound effects:
Twelfth Night (Arkangel Shakespeare)
By William Shakespeare

This is an all-male cast as you might have seen it in 1604, with Mark Rylance as Olivia.