Local home schoolers to perform “’Twelfth Night’

Local home-schooled youth are putting on William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” this week.

The group iShakespeare, which includes home-schooled students from Shelley to Rexburg, will perform the comedy on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It will be at 7 p.m. each night at the Virginia Theater, 186 South State St., Shelley.

Tickets are $5, and “date packs,” which include two tickets, two drinks, two popcorn and two candies, are $17, according to an iShakespeare news release. Tickets are available at the door or online at virginiatheater.org.

The play is put together by volunteers and parents of the student actors. Heather Wolfley and Cosette Stevens of Rigby are directing the play.

“I do it all for the kids,” Wolfley said. “I get to see amazing growth. They come in as shy, meek kids, but they come out confident and strong. This is the only reward needed.”

Wolfley has been directing iShakespeare since 2013, and she and her husband Mike also built the sets. Stevens, who started out as and still is iShakespeare’s costume designer, started to direct as well in 2014. She said her favorite part of directing is “the moment when you see a student truly relating to a character, or some aspect of the plot. They’ve made connections and broadened their understanding of human character. I love to see the evolution of the play from opening night to closing, when they have infused their own personality into it and gained the confidence to make it their own.”

iShakespeare is part of the iFamily Leadership Academy, a local group of home-schoolers that meets weekly. iShakespeare students started last fall by studying a Shakespearean tragedy, and among other requirements they also read or watched 17 Shakespeare plays, gave oral presentations and wrote numerous papers leading up to auditions earlier this year.