Illyria musical logo on parchment paper


Musical Adaptation of Twelfth Night
3F, 7M
School, Community & Pro Theatres


This musical re-telling of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, captures both the rollicking energy of the play’s hilarious hijinks and its deeply felt emotions of loss and unrequited love.

Casting & Production


3 female and 7 male featured roles, with optional additional roles

VIOLA (20’s; bright mix soprano to a high F and strong belt in lower range to G below middle C: twin sister to Sebastian Believably boyish, a good “straight man” to the comics in the show, an active listener. Attractive, but not a classic beauty. Spunky, rough and tumble, passionate, and quietly internal by turns.

OLIVIA (late 20’s – 30’s: legit soprano, with ability for a strong jazzy low belt): a noblewoman of Illyria. Stunningly beautiful, elegant, poised, but willing to cut loose and be sexy and silly as well. The lady of her domain, in control yet vulnerable.

MARIA (late 20’s–40’s, depending on Toby’s age; strong belt voice to C): Lady Olivia’s maid and confidante. Sexy, clever, in charge, able to be “one of the boys”, a sparkplug. Has a long, on-going affair with Sir Toby, with whom she is in love and shares a real chemistry and penchant for mischief.

SEBASTIAN (20’s; tenor, needs to belt to an A): obviously, should be a strong physical match for Viola, but with his own, very masculine energy. Has a certain innocent, naïve, optimism; extremely honorable; with emotional depth to his sorrow upon losing Viola.

ORSINO (late 20’s–30’s; trong, lyric hi-baritone): the ruler of Illyria, in love with Lady Olivia. Handsome, oozes charisma—a Prince Charming! Deeply passionate, self-indulgent, in love with love. Ultimately, vulnerable on an emotional level, but capable of high-status, commanding presence.

SIR TOBY (30’s – 40’s; legit hi baritone (to G), able to deal with lots of patter singing): Lazy but clever—an overgrown “frat boy”. Olivia’s uncle, he lives in her household and relies on her patronage. Toby has a huge ego, and should have a large physique to match, yet be limber and able to move well. A drunkard, always up for a good time… he is in love with Maria, should have great chemistry with her—they are the “dueling wits.”

SIR ANDREW (late 20’s–30’s; high baritone/bari-tenor): a suitor to the Lady Olivia and a stooge for Toby and Maria’s amusement. Should be naturally funny (whatever that means!), and have an air of the bumbling aristocrat about him. Naïve, lonely, forever well-intentioned, dopey, desperate to be liked.

FESTE (30’s–40’s tenor, capable of patter): the wise fool, in Olivia’s service. A clown and trickster, extremely smart and adept with wordplay and sleight of hand, able to read the subtext of any situation. Endearing. Should have the depth of having been through the trials of love once, himself.

MALVOLIO (40’s–50’s; high Baritone. sings to a full voice G): the steward of Olivia’s household. Full of himself and the importance of his position, self-righteous and overly-serious about everything, yet charmingly goofy in his self-delusion.

ANTONIO (30’s–40’s; bari-bass.): the seafarer who rescues Sebastian. May or may not be a legitimate pirate. A fatherly or “older brother” type, very protective of Sebastian, with a physically imposing/tough look.

Optional 2 GUARDS/COURTIERS(baritones): in the service of Duke Orsino, who see to his every whim ands protect his dukedom. (FESTE and MALVOLIO can double in these roles.)

2 LADIES IN WAITING: to Olivia, in her household and under the instruction of Maria.

Orchestral Information

7 Musicians


Reed 1 (Flute, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone)

Reed 2 (Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)



Bass (Upright)




Book, Music and Lyrics by PETER MILLS

Adapted by PETER MILLS and CARA REICHEL from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”

Originally Produced by Prospect Theatre Company, New York, NY; Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director; Melissa Huber, Managing Director ILLYRIA received its Regional Premiere at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Bonnie J. Monte, Artistic Director; Stephen Klein, Managing Director NOTE: The names of the Composer, Lyricist and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring boldness and prominence and not smaller than 50% of the size of the title. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the Play.


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