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EKU’s Center for the Arts is returning to hosting live audiences on April 23 with a film from the Appalachian Shakespeare Center at EKU presenting the world premiere of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night or What You Will,” a puppet film. Tickets are available now at for the 7 p.m. screening on Friday, April 23 at the EKU Center for The Arts in Richmond, KY. The film will be followed by a talkback with some of the artists involved in crafting this hand-made puppet piece. Masks are required. Seating will be limited due to social distancing requirements. 

“Twelfth Night” is a rollicking comedy that has all the shipwrecks, twins, cross dressing, romance, mistaken identities, clowns, and fools the Bard could cram into one evening. Performed with rod puppets, this feature-length film was created during the pandemic by the artists of the Appalachian Shakespeare Center at EKU to be used in their educational outreach program the Loose Canon Project. But for one night only you can see it on the big screen at the Center For the Arts in Richmond!

Shipwrecked in a strange country, Viola dresses in her lost twin brother’s clothes and goes to work for the lovelorn Duke Orsino. The duke dispatches the young servant to woo the mourning Countess Olivia who promptly falls in love with the disguised Viola’s quick wit. Meanwhile the Countess’ cousin Sir Toby Belch and his wily band of fools gang up to teach the stuck-up valet Malvolio a lesson he’ll never forget. It’s a lighthearted mix of beautiful language and comedic hijinks that the whole family can enjoy.

Directed by EKU professor and AppShakes Director Matthew Lewis Johnson, the film features a rogue’s gallery of local theatre stalwarts and AppShakes regulars: Sarah Jo Jacobs, Wylie Caudill, Jonathan Hibbard, Hannah Daugherty, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Cody Taylor, Joe Ferrell, Wes Nelson, Bo List, David Bellnier, Sylvester Little, Paige Adams, Evan Daulton, and Matthew Lewis Johnson. “When the pandemic hit both our spring education outreach program, the Loose Canon Project, and our summer production were canceled. In their absence we created this film. It’s a really unique project, no one else in the country is doing this kind of work using Shakespeare and puppetry, and I’m really proud of this charming little film. I hope that this is the first of many puppet projects with our company,” says Johnson, “We have fun plans with puppets for this summer too, so keep an eye out!”