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Classroom Activities: Twelfth Night

A Very Tricky Letter

Write the letter that Malvolio finds in your own words. How would you need to change the language if it were taking place in todays world?


You’re the Designer

Create costume designs that show the difference between Viola and the rest of the court. You can design multiple costumes that she would wear as herself (a woman) and when she is playing Cesario (a man.) Pay attention to the meaning or feelings behind the colors you pick. Consider what era you want to set the play in and what impact that will have on the play.


You’re the Actor

Option A: Monologue

Pick a speech of at least ten lines. Repeat the speech using several different techniques. Try it dramatically, angrily, humorously, sarcastically. Try emphasizing different words to change the meaning of the words.


Option B: Dialogue

Pick a bit of dialogue of at least ten lines. Play the scene using several different tech­niques. Try it dramatically, angrily, humorously, and sarcastically. Try emphasizing different words and swapping roles to change the meaning of the words.


 Gender Swap

Have each student figure out how they would physically portray the opposite gender by changing their voice and physicality.


If Music Be The Food of Love

Music plays a huge role in Twelfth Night, between Orsino’s famous line at the beginning of the play to all of the musical interludes throughout, it’s easy to see Shakespeare had a theme in mind. Ask your students to create a soundtrack from the show using whatever songs they want.


Telling the Story

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most adapted works. We find elements of his story everywhere in pop culture. (For example the movie She’s the Man.) Ask your students to retell the story in a shortened version. They can set it anywhere and change little plot elements, so long as the major plot points stay the same.

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