Lantern Theater Company Presents William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT, May 18 – June 18, 2023

Lantern Theater Company concludes its 2022/23 season with Twelfth Night, part of the company’s ongoing commitment to produce the timeless stories of William Shakespeare for both the general public and local school students. Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon directs an ensemble cast that includes Damon Bonetti, Charlie DelMarcelle, Tyler S. Elliott, J Hernandez, David Ingram, Joanna Liao, Brian McCann, Lee Minora, Melissa Rakiro, and Brian Anthony Wilson. Featuring live original music composed by Barrymore Award-winner Christopher Colucci, the Lantern’s production of Twelfth Night runs Thursday, May 18 through Sunday, June 18, 2023, at St. Stephen’s Theater, the Lantern’s resident venue.

Twenty years ago, Lantern Theater Company made an artistic commitment to produce the work of William Shakespeare every season, recognizing that his plays have a unique place in our artistic heritage, that they impart essential human knowledge and experience to our own age, and that they promote empathy in audiences of all ages. At the Lantern, these works are presented clearly, creatively, and vividly – ensuring that Shakespeare’s 400-year-old dialogue sounds perfectly current, crackling with the same urgency and excitement that its first audiences would have experienced in Elizabethan times. With this lively and musical production of Twelfth Night, the Lantern celebrates the return of Shakespeare to its mainstage following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

One of Shakespeare’s most beloved and complex romantic comedies, Twelfth Night explores art, gender, language, and love through the journey of its compelling heroine, Viola. A shipwreck separates her from her twin brother Sebastian and leaves her in the unfamiliar Illyria, fearing him dead. Lost, Viola disguises herself as a boy, Cesario, to serve the Duke, Orsino. She soon falls in love with him, but he is in love with countess Olivia, who falls in love with Viola in her disguise. We meet a host of iconic characters amid one mind-bending twist after another, and Viola is challenged to find her identity, her lost family, and true love. 

“The brilliant and ageless Twelfth Night is a comedy that lives at the edge of heartbreak right up until its magnificent conclusion,” said Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon, who helms the production. “Shakespeare was a master of language and character development – and nowhere is this more apparent than in Twelfth Night, with its unforgettable dialogue and the immortal characters of Viola, Malvolio, Sir Toby Belch, and Feste the Jester. The Lantern’s production will recreate the Illyrian coast as a place of mystery and music, where impossible love strives to make itself real against all odds.” 

Lantern Theater Company will delve into the world of Twelfth Night on its Lantern Searchlight blog, available online at Articles will be published throughout the production’s run, exploring the origins of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s heroines and plot devices, behind the scenes interviews with the artists, and more. 

Tickets for Twelfth Night are $25 – $42 and are available online at or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Discounts are available for students, seniors 65 and up, U.S. military personnel, and groups of 10 or more. Performances of Twelfth Night will take place at St. Stephen’s Theater, located at 923 Ludlow Street in Center City Philadelphia. Everyone other than the actors on stage must wear properly fitted masks while in our venue; more information is available at

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