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    Monday, July 15, 2024

    A Celebration of Twelfth Night to return to Westerly

    WESTERLY – The Chorus of Westerly and Flock Theatre of New London announced Tuesday their plans to revive Westerly’s holiday production A Celebration of Twelfth Night after a 10-year hiatus.

    An annual community musical and stage extravaganza produced by the Chorus of Westerly for 40 years, A Celebration of Twelfth Night most recently took place in January 2015.

    The Twelfth Night 2025 revival, with shows scheduled to take place on January 10-12, 2025, will be produced and offered as a unique partnership project between the Chorus of Westerly and Flock Theatre organizations. While the Chorus will serve as the show’s overall producing entity and musical lead under the guidance of Andrew Howell, Flock Theatre will be responsible for the show’s theatrical management, structure, and stage direction. Flock Theatre’s work will be helmed by Derron Wood, Flock’s executive artistic director, and Victor Chiburis, Flock’s associate artistic director.

    All of the 2025 shows will take place in Twelfth Night’s original venue, the Chorus’s George Kent Performance Hall on High Street in Westerly. Those interested in auditioning for the show or participating in the production of the show in any capacity should visit this weblink: chorusofwesterly.org/twelfthnight to learn more about getting involved. The dates for auditions and ticket sales will be announced later this spring.

    A Celebration of Twelfth Night was originally created in the mid-1970s by the Chorus of Westerly. Founding Music Director George Kent and other leaders of the Chorus were inspired by an early production of John Meredith Langstaff’s Revels that took place in Kent Hall (then the Westerly Center for the Arts) in the early 1970s. Over the years that followed, Kent, along with Chorus visionary Anne Utter, created and evolved a post-Christmas holiday show that involved drama, music, poetry, dance, and good humor, all webbed together by a basic play structure consisting with basic themes of good over evil, light emerging from dark, and shared humanity.

    In time, Twelfth Night became one of the region’s most popular musical and theatrical events. The very large cast and crew was made up of many local amateurs and volunteers, who worked alongside professional musicians, actors, dancers, choreographers, technical personnel, and stage direction.

    The Chorus made the decision to put the show on hiatus in 2015 to allow for an artistic and organizational reset.

    A Celebration of Twelfth Night has always involved not just the singing members of the Chorus of Westerly – who included both children and adults (presently ages 8 to 85) – but also a cast of nearly 100, many of who are also children, some appearing on stage for the first time in their careers.

    Both organizations note that the 2025 revival is presently intended to be a one-time revival of the production. At this time, it is not either organizations’ intention to restart presenting Twelfth Night on an annual basis.

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