Tonight we saw Elise’s brother depict Orsino in his high school’s performance of Twelfth Night.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to recap high school theatre at length for you. At least, not just yet. First, I have to tell you about my doppelganger.
Basically, there is a kid that is friends with E’s brother, and he looks and talks and moves just like me. He’s even inappropriately loud at all the wrong moments, just like I was (but am not as much anymore).
Every possible person has commented about it. E’s mom thinks we look alike. Someone else in the show saw me in the audience and thought he/I had snuck out from backstage.
It’s uncanny. I didn’t have the curly hair back then, he has a better nose, and I don’t think he is under the impression that he is David Bowie, but otherwise he is a relative spitting image of me.
It’s a little unsettling, if only because E’s brother reminds me of me enough to begin with (mostly intellectually, and in wishful thinking, because I wished I was him when I was in high school), but then to have another person remind me of me, and to have the two of them be buds and gallivanting around on-stage, is kind of mind-collapsing.
Also, Twelfth Night itself is a play of doppelgangers and doubles. It’s possibly my favorite Shakespeare comedy because it moves briskly and doesn’t require much suspension of belief. The troupe did it in the style of commedia dell’arte, which meant they all played as archetypal models, and nearly all wore elaborate masks. They also played a collection of found and real instruments, and did some offstage singing to score the scenes.
We did a commedia-style show my freshman year – the brilliant A Company of Wayward Saints – and it was also great. There’s something about the reductiveness of the archetypes that makes it easy to bring amazing scenes to life – like it’s easier to just sink into the character without thinking too much about it.
We also did the found-music thing in Bretch’s Good Woman of Setzuan, a process well-documented in the annals of the blog.
Basically, bro just did my two most technically challenging collegiate shows wrapped up along with Shakespeare AS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, and knocked it out of the park. As did my doppelganger, and all of their castmates.
They’re pretty cool.