April 15 – May 22, 2016
Performances will run on select dates, Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm

“Conceal me what I am, and be my aid for such disguise as haply shall become the form of my intent.”

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Carmen Khan, is a comedic meditation on romantic delusion. We have a woman disguised as a man. We have a lady who is desperately in love with “him” but pretending to be in grave mourning; a duke who believes he is madly in love with the lady across town, while (unknown to himself) he truly loves the person at his side, whom he doesn’t realize is female; a terrified goose of a man challenging another man to a duel. And much, much more. Put all these people together and you have an irresistible, poignant symphony of miscommunication, misconception and non-comprehension, all fueled by romantic desire.

Directed by Carmen Khan

(*Preview performance: Thursday, April 14)

This play is recommended for ages 8+. Estimated runtime: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 15 minute intermission.

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, also known as What You Will, is a comedy, which centers on mistaken identity.

LOVE STRUCK: Orsino, the Duke of Illyria, is deeply, madly in love with the Lady Olivia. She refuses to see him because she is mourning the recent death of her brother. Orsino doesn’t actually come in person to see her, but sends his servants to woo on his behalf.

SHIPWRECKED: Viola is shipwrecked and lands on the shores of Illyria. She was travelling with her brother Sebastian who seems to be lost at sea. She decides to disguise herself as a man and seek employment with Duke Orsino. She calls herself Cesario.

CLOWNING AROUND: Feste is Olivia’s clown and has been missing for days. Everyone is angry at him, especially Olivia who orders him to be thrown out of the house. This pleases the uptight and puritanical Malvolio (Olivia’s butler and head of the servants, who is secretly in love with Olivia). Feste though is a master of clever repartee, and quickly wins Olivia back, much to the chagrin of Malvolio.

COURTING COMPLICATIONS: Cesario (Viola) is sent by the Duke to woo Olivia on his behalf. Viola admits to us that she has fallen in love with Orsino. Olivia tells Cesario (Viola) that she cannot love the Duke and she has said this many times before. When Cesario leaves, Olivia finds herself in a swoon for the young “man”, and sends Malvolio to chase Cesario (Viola) and give “him” a ring (she tells Malvolio the ring was left by Cesario).

MISTAKEN IDENTITIES: Viola realizes Olivia is in love with her? Him? Oh no, Olivia thinks Viola (Cesario) is a man! Meanwhile Viola’s twin brother Sebastian lands safely somewhere else on the island and has made a friend of Antonio (who saved him). He is very sad about losing Viola in the shipwreck and wants to go to Duke Orsino’s court. Antonio confesses to us that he has enemies at Orsino’s court but decides to follow Sebastian anyway.

THE PARTY’S OVER: Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s dissolute cousin, is conducting a loud drinking and carousing party at Olivia’s house with his gullible friend and drinking buddy, Sir Andrew Aguecheek (who is also in love with Olivia) and Feste. Maria, Olivia’s maid, warns them to be quiet or they will be thrown out of the house. Malvolio interrupts the party and says he is going to report them to Olivia. Sir Toby is incensed by Malvolio’s uppity behavior and they all complain about him. In retaliation, they devise a plan to trick Malvolio into thinking Olivia is in love with him. Malvolio makes a fool of himself while trying to impress Olivia. Sir Toby and his crew then imprison him as punishment for his pompous behavior.

CONFUSION MEETS CLARITY: While this is happening both Orsino and Olivia are falling deeper in love with Cesario/Viola, and Cesario is falling further for Orsino. Sebastian is mistaken for Cesario, and a silly sword fight ensues. In the end identities are revealed, couples are united, and marriages and celebrations follow! A happy ending for everyone, save Malvolio who promises revenge on them all.




*Photo credit: Kendall Whitehouse

Date and Location
April 15 – May 22, 2016
Performances will run on select dates, Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 2pm
The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 19103

Ticketing Information

New to 2016, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre now offers new seating selections! Choose your preferred seat while ordering your tickets from our seating chart. Tickets to our Mainstage productions range from $20-$45, depending on the selected seating section. Senior and student discounts available.

You can purchase tickets online by clicking here, or by calling our box office: 215-496-8001.

In the weeks before the show, our staff is here to take your box office calls from 9am – 5pm, Monday-Friday.

Please note: There is no late seating policy. Give yourself plenty of time to park and walk to our theatre. Late seating will be at the discretion of our House Manager.

Accessibility: Our theatre is unfortunately NOT handicap accessible at this time. We are working on making our theatre accessible to everyone, and we will do our best to accommodate any special requests.

Dining Options

For nearby restaurants and other dining options, click here.


Metered Parking

Metered street parking is available on several blocks in all directions surrounding The Theatre.

Indoor Garages & Outdoor Lots

There are many parking garages and outdoor lots within a few blocks of The Theatre. There are two garages within the block. One is located across the street. Another is located next door, called Park America. Park America accepts our $10.00 validation stamp. Additional parking facilities are located at 125 South 20th, 2036 Chestnut, and 2101 Chestnut. The average cost for parking at a garage or lot during an evening performance ranges between $9.00 – $12.00.