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CCC students to perform Shakespeare in steampunk style...

Clovis, NM - Already riddled with hilarity and the unexpected, The Company Class of Clovis Community College is adding a further twist to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

Coming to the stage the last week of November, the CCC rendition of Twelfth Night will be painted with the brush of the steampunk genre, combining new and old in a timeless, gender-bending, mistaken identity comedy of errors.

With four scheduled performances - at 7 p.m. Nov. 28, 29, 30 and Dec. 1, Town Hall, CCC - the cast of more than a dozen promises to keep audiences enthralled.

The confused passions of Twelfth Night are sparked when the shipwrecked Viola poses as the male servant of the Duke Orsino and attracts the attention of Olivia, the Duke's love interest. Meanwhile, Viola falls in love with the Duke, who has no idea she is a woman.

Students taking The Company Class at CCC study and create a theatrical production which they perform for the public at the end of the semester.

The plot of Twelfth Night offers fun and fast-moving entertainment for adult audiences, and lend itself perfectly to the steampunk genre, in which Edwardian and Victorian styles are blended with the technology of the Industrial Revolution, and is influenced by, and often adopts the style of, the 19th-century scientific fiction that can be found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, said Christy Mendoza, class instructor and director of the production.

"I thought it would be a fun genre and it fits Twelfth Night. And let's face it, if I told my actors I would be putting them in tights I don't think I'd have any left," she said with a chuckle.

Mendoza said the steampunk element to the play has certainly inspired the creativity of her students, sending everyone scrambling to recycling yards and second-hand shops for unique costume and set items.

With the exception of one costume - which had to be ordered to accommodate a 6-foot-6-inch tall actor - Mendoza said her students have made everything for the play out of combined and repurposed items.

"I think that because of the steampunk aspect, this is just popping a chord in each of the actors and they are just loving it," she said.

Meredith Lazzara, who plays the part of Olivia, relocated to Clovis in July with her military family.

Lazzara said right before moving from Rhode Island, she discovered a passion for community theater and was disappointed because she didn't expect to find a similar outlet for herself in Clovis. She stumbled onto the class at CCC, choosing to audit the course so she could take part in Twelfth Night.

"I am just so, so, so happy and thankful to be a part of it," Lazzara said, explaining one of the interesting elements to the production has been creating her costume.

"My costumes are a lot of fun and are going to be quite elaborate. I had to do a lot of research; this has been a whole experience."

Twelfth Night - 7 p.m. Nov. 28, 29, 30, and Dec. 1, Town Hall, CCC. Tickets are $7.

Reporters: for more information, you may call Lisa Spencer, 769-4115 or Christy Mendoza, 769-4945