Lions in Illyria

Based on Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Published by Playscripts, Inc.
For licensing & script sample, click here.

Lions in Illyria

GENRE: Family comedy
LENGTH: 60 minutes
CAST: 4 females, 4 males (4-8 actors possible)
SET: Flexible set

Separated from her brother by a storm at sea, the young lioness Violet must brave an unknown country all alone. Disguised as a boy, she joins up with a preposterous peacock on a quest to claim the attentions of the most graceful gazelle in town. But soon Violet is torn between multiple masters and her adventure takes a turn for the absurd when she becomes entangled in the clownish antics of a wacky warthog and his featherbrained dodo sidekick. Travel to the weird and wonderful land of Illyria in a magical comedy loaded with music, monkeys, and mayhem.

“[A] cleverly crafted script creates a world within which kids and parents alike can thoroughly revel in an hour of live theater… The humor within the script is smart, wicked and silly. There’s just the right mix of puns, sibling rivalry jokes and jests about flinging poo (Antonia is a monkey, after all)… If you have children, you should take them to [this show]. If you are still in touch with your inner child, you should take him or her to see this. And even if you’re a grumpy old codger with no connection to children in any way, you should go see this play. It has the fun and feisty attitude of an episode of ‘The Animaniacs’ or the classic ‘Muppet Show.’ It is self-aware without being meta and it makes a centuries-old classic story new again.” —New City

“A marvelous take on a beloved show which features animals, gentle humor and a surprising commitment to more of the original story than I’d thought possible… one of the smartest adaptations of Shakespeare for kids that I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. What could easily have fallen into overly simplistic explanations or cloying storytelling was a strong play-within-a-play with a few notable moments of dramatic license… It’s not hard to make children’s theatre funny. It’s also not hard to make theatre that teaches a lesson. But a successful combination of both, that touches lightly – yet effectively – on subjects of bullying, addictive behavior and being true to yourself while trying to love someone else, adds up to a show that kids and adults alike will adore.” —Chicago Parent

“One of the more ambitious projects I’ve seen from Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries… an original work by ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric, based on Shakespeare’s great comedy Twelfth Night. Kauzlaric turns the Bard’s characters into animals… It’s lots of fun and very silly, and [it] takes care to insert lessons about friendship, love, and the importance of being oneself (even when you’re an actor dressed as a lioness disguised as a lion) that feel neither forced nor superfluous.” —Chicago Reader

“Robert Kauzlaric’s touches work well in this very ambitious and well realized adaptation. More surprising actually than the characters being cast as animals, is the naked emotion present in many of the opening scenes. This may be primarily meant for children, but I suspect more than a few parents will be touched by the young lioness reaching out to Olivia in her time of need.” —Splash Magazines

Premiered January 2015, Lifeline Theatre, Chicago, IL

Produced by:
Beattie Middle School (Highland, CA)
Central Catholic High School (Modesto, CA)
Central High School (Knoxville, TN)
Columbus Children’s Theatre (Columbus, OH)
Echo Ranch (Juneau, AK)
Friends School of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Graham Regional Theatre (Graham, TX)
Henry County High School (McDonough, GA)
Lincoln College (Lincoln, IL)
Los Alamos Little Theatre (Los Alamos, NM)
Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School (Sandy Springs, GA)
Penn High School (Mishawaka, IN)
Project Big Top (Merced, CA)
Sacajawea Middle School (Spokane, WA)
Sant Bani School (Sanbornton, NH)
Shawnee Mission NW High School (Shawnee, KS)
The Sockdolagers (La Crosse, WI)
St. James Catholic School (Seguin, TX)
St. John’s Country Day School (Orange Park, FL)

Production photo by Jackie Jasperson

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