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Gender-bending Shakespeare season continues

If Shakespeare in Delaware Park’s production of “Romeo and Juliet” had a bit of lighthearted fun with gender roles – most notably with impossibly swashbuckling female versions of Tybalt and Benvolio – its second production is turning the tables completely.

On Thursday, the company opens the second and final production in its coincidentally topical season of gender fluidity with an all-male version of “Twelfth Night” inspired in part by an immensely popular Globe Theatre production from 2012. The company’s approach is both fiercely traditional because it hews to the Elizabethan practice of using all-male casts and radically progressive because of the evolving understanding of what “gender” means in a post-Caitlyn Jenner world.

A tale criss-crossing mistaken identities with all manner of gender confusion and low-level homoeroticism built into the plot, “Twelfth Night” tells the story of a strange love triangle involving a shipwrecked female twin disguised as a man (Jordan Louis Fischer), a lovelorn duke (Chris Hatch) and an alluring countess (Tim Newell). Steve Vaughan directs the show, which runs through Aug. 16.

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– Colin Dabkowski

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