What: Guerilla Shakespeare Co. presents “Twelfth Night”

Details: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at Deschutes Historical Museum, Bend; 3 p.m. Sunday at Village Green Park, Sisters; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15-16 at Deschutes Memorial Gardens and Chapel, Bend; 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at Maragas Winery, Culver

Cost: $15 plus fees at bendticket.com, $20 at the door

Contact: bendticket.com

It’s almost a given theater companies staging a William Shakespeare play will get creative with the setting of time — a great way to prove the timeless quality of his plays, which the masterful English playwright drafted more than 400 years ago.

Take the comedy “Twelfth Night,” opening Thursday in Bend, for example. In 2013, a Cascades Theatrical Company production of the play was set at the dawn of the 20th century. When the Oregon Shakespeare Festival presented it a few years later in Ashland, it was set in glittering 1930s Hollywood.

For Guerilla Shakespeare Co.’s treatment of the comedy of mistaken identity, the Bend company is taking it to the 1990s.

Getting creative with the setting is nothing new for Clinton K. Clark. Clark co-founded, with Danielle Herron, the company, which stages outdoor theater company at venues around Central Oregon. In 2015, through his other production company, Dionysus Presents, Clark decided to give “Macbeth” a contemporary corporate setting. In 2016, Guerilla Shakespeare came to be, setting “Hamlet” in the 1950s and ’80s.

Guerilla Shakespeare Co. went dark in 2017 rather than compete with the total solar eclipse for attention. When it came back swinging last year with “Taming of the Shrew,” Kit Foreman’s spirited Kate — the “shrew” of the title — was portrayed as a Rosie the Riveter-style independent woman of the 1940s.

This marks the second consecutive year Guerilla Shakespeare Co. has opted to go with comedy for its outdoor production, which it will perform on the lawn of the Deschutes Historical Museum Thursday through Saturday and Village Green Park in Sisters on Sunday. The following week, it returns to Bend’s Deschutes Memorial Gardens on Aug. 15 and 16 before heading to Maragas Winery in Culver Aug. 17, its closing performance.

Clark believes the 1990s setting would add atmosphere to “Twelfth Night,” the tall tale of a girl named Viola (played by Catherine Christie) who becomes separated from her twin brother in a shipwreck. When she’s rescued and taken to Illyria, she decides to disguise herself as a boy named Cesario, who lands work for Duke Orsino (Tom Thurman). When Orsino sends Cesario to woo Countess Olivia on his behalf — though the Countess is on a break from men — it’s Cesario to whom Olivia takes a shine faster than you can say “love triangle.”

“If you know the play, there’s kind of a lot of cross-dressing, angst, a lot of ambiguity going on,” said Clinton Clark. “And so I was kind of trying to capitalize on that with a lot of what was going on politically in the ’90s. A lot of change that we saw in the ’90s, a lot of stuff (became) normalized, if you will. I was trying to take advantage of that.”

The idea came to him brainstorming with co-director Cayla Clark (no relation). They considered a 1960s sexual revolution setting, but ultimately, “we realized that the ’90s might supplement the idea of the play more,” Clinton Clark said.

He believes “Twelfth Night” ranks among the Bard of Avon’s best comedies.

“It’s definitely one of the funniest,” Clark said. He’s not alone. In 2016, Time Out New York ranked it no. 1, besting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “As You Like It” and, well, all of Shakespeare’s comedies.

“There’s something here to delight every palate, from the audaciously conceived central entanglement — which revolves around a pair of seemingly identical twins of different sexes — to unusually funny comic side plots and bittersweet notes of grief and resentment,” Time Out wrote.

In researching the play, Clark found that “What a lot of historians say is that it’s his cleanest play. And if that’s true, then all of his other plays have to be filthy, because I’m finding all sorts of inappropriate jokes in it,” he said.

As an example, he cites the character he plays — the conceited and insufferable Malvolio, steward to Olivia — finds a letter.

“He thinks (it) is written to him, and he says, ‘This be my lady’s hand. These be her very C’s, her U’s AND her T’s. And thus she makes her great P’s,’” Clark said.

That line has been noted by others. Vox included the line in its 2016 list, “9 Shakespeare innuendoes you should have been embarrassed to read in English class.” If you’re not getting it, follow the author’s advice: “Read it aloud … it gets a lot dirtier.”

For those who have come to expect Clark local stages, be it in Guerilla Shakespeare Co.’s summer offerings, his one-man performances as a Macy’s elf in “The Santaland Diaries,” in ensemble casts such as that of “Heathers the Musical,” his original plays (“The Beatles Die on Tuesday,” “A P.C. Xmas”) or his recent forays into drag performance, well, we have some bad news.

“I think this is my last play,” said Clark, who is planning a move to Chicago. Absent 2nd Street Theater, where Clark produced much of his original work and which closed in January of this year, “I’m just kind of listless. … Between February and May, I was kind of going crazy, like, ‘What am I doing with myself? I’m not making any theater.’ And I felt listless and out of my nature. … My heart is in what I do with the theater.”

He’ll miss the supportive arts community here, he said.

“The community, despite us not having all the venues that we need, is still a strong and supportive community. There’s not a group of people in (any other) small town that are like this,” Clark said. “We’re tight in a lot of ways and just supportive in a lot of ways.”

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