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Backstage delight 0

Kaitlin Doherty DELHI NEWS-RECORD

With much anticipation, Delhi's Backstage Capitol Theatre is re-opening its curtains to the community with a production of the classic Shakespearean comedy, Twelfth Night.

The show, which originally was set to run last summer, is co-presented by the newly formed Norfolk Youth Theatre, a not-for-profit organization that features talented young people from Norfolk County and showcases the aspiring young actors' theatrical talents.

"This is a very amusing show," said Bob Missen, director of NYT and producer of Twelfth Night. "It's a very robust comedy and features all different genres suitable for everyone. It's romantic, funny and dramatic."

With the show only weeks away, Missen said everyone is in "crunch-mode" as they prepare the set and memorize lines.

"The talent that these kids show is incredible," Missen said. "Believe it or not some of them are seasoned veterans and have been on stage for nearly 10 years."

Set in the mythical kingdom of Illyria, Twelfth Night was the perfect production to open the Backstage Capitol Theatre because it is "a delightful wonderful mess," Missen said.

The original play written by William Shakespeare was based around the lives of young characters, which Missen explained was prefect because this year, unintentionally, the NYT production boasts a cast entirely under the age of 20, including four students from Delhi District Secondary School.

"This is the classic Shakespearean comedy of errors," said Coco Lee, DDSS student and lead character Viola in Twelfth Night. "It's great to have a Delhi group here. We all bring a different skill set and combination to the production and we can freely bounce ideas off one another as well as learn from each other."

Lee has been acting for as long as she can remember, and is excited to be reprising the role of Viola in this year's production.

"We didn't get to actually do the show last year," she said. "It's very fun to come back and play Viola again and portray her in a fresh light."

Last September, the theatre was temporarily closed down by the county over safety concerns.

Since its closure, co-owner Jeff Maerten and the Maerten family have saved the Backstage Capitol Theatre by completing renovations and upkeep with the atmosphere of a European town square, complete with fountains.

"We are delighted that the Maertens have allowed us in there to do this play," said Missen. "There has been a buzz around town about this for a long time, and we are pleased to say that we are making the production extremely professional in all respects. I can guarantee everyone will have fun."

The production will run three performances opening on July 24 and closing on July 26. All performances will begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at The Flower Shop, Delhi, for $10 general admission.

To purchase tickets and experience some "midsummer madness", contact the Flower Shop at (519) 582-8503.


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