Lindsay Schnute says “Twelfth Night” audiences should expect the unexpected

Photo by Grace Laituri

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Howell High School senior Lindsay Schnute, who plays Olivia — a beautiful, wealthy noblewoman at the center of the various comedic and romantic plots in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” — was originally the production’s musical director; she auditioned for a role at the encouragement of drama teacher Amanda Malo.

“I was 100 percent OK with working with the singers and keeping a friendly distance from the stage, for it does scare me just a little bit,” Schnute said. “I am glad that I am involved more than I was going to be, and thankful that I get to act on stage with some of my best friends.”

Schnute appeared in her first production as a fourth grader in the chorus of the Howell High School production of “Beauty and the Beast.” She’s also been in three Christmas productions, as well as the ensembles of the Community Theatre of Howell’s productions of “The Addams Family,” and “The Music Man.” “Twelfth Night” is her eighth main-stage production.

“My favorite part of the being in the show is how much I get to laugh,” Schnute said. “Working with this cast has given me so many memories and funny moments that I will get to look back on.

“I love that we were all equally clueless as to what this show was about, and how it was going to look in the end,” she said, “but now that we are so close to opening night, we have all gained so much knowledge. We got to grow as people and as characters, and I love that the most.”

Julie Andrews is Schnute’s biggest inspiration.

“As a kid, I watched ‘The Sound of Music’ so often that any time I watched it, my siblings would hide out in their own rooms until it was over,” Schnute said. “Julie has been my biggest inspiration all these years because of how soft spoken she is. She has a sweet voice, but a powerful one.”

Her parents, Steve and Julia Schnute, have been her No. 1 supporters and inspirations. “Without them, I would never be as involved as I am now,” she said.

Schnute has two brothers, Justin and Tyler, and a sister, Nikki. She plans to go to college in the fall and study music therapy.

Watching the production come together has been one of Schnute’s favorite part of the experience.

“I have enjoyed the process of change,” she said. “I love watching my cast members make choices and go out there and kill it. I am so proud of all the people who work behind the scenes and encourage us. There is nothing better than seeing everyone so happy and in their element.”

Schnute said the audience should expect to think, “I was not expecting that.”

“If you don’t know Shakespeare, you should expect to have to tune in a little more, and that is OK,” Schnute said. “It will take a little thinking, but you will enjoy the show.”

The Howell High School’s Performing Arts Department will present William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 17, as well as at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Howell High School Rod Bushey Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Grand River Ave., Howell.

Advance sale tickets are $10 for students/seniors and $12 for adults. Tickets can be purchased in the Howell High School main office and at Schafer’s House of Music. The ticket cost will increase by $1 at the door.


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