Family Activities

I, Malvolio Family Activity   FAMILY


At The New Victory Theater, we believe that the experience of our audience members begins long before they enter our theater and continues long after the last curtain call. Our staff—including members of our award-winning Education Department—has created activities that can be used before or after you visit the theater to explore a specific aspect of the production. Working together, your family will gain insight into the talent and hard work it takes to produce a show, while possibly learning something new about one another and creating lasting memories as a family.

Tim Crouch, the unstoppable solo-performer and creator of I, Malvolio, gives voice to the underdog of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which is a comedy (for everyone except Malvolio, who doesn’t find the prank played on him one bit humorous). To brush up on your Shakespeare, read this synopsis of Twelfth Night before diving into our quiz, which explores various points of view on love lost and found, just like Tim Crouch does in I, Malvolio.

Challenge #1   So Who Are You?

Twelfth Night is all about mistaken identity, and Malvolio is one of many characters in the original play. Which character is most like you? How much like Malvolio are you? Take this quiz and find out.

I would best describe myself as…
A) Organized.
B) Emotional.
C) Attractive.
D) Hysterical.

My dream job would be…
A) Police officer.
B) Musician.
C) Celebrity (any kind will do).
D) Comedian.

If I ever found out that a crush didn’t like me back, I would…
A) Change who I am.
B) Wallow in self-pity.
C) Move on to the next best thing! 
D) Play a prank on him or her.

When I get home from a long day, I like to…
A) Eat dinner, clean my room, and go to bed. In that order. 
B) Listen to my music alone in my room and reflect on my thoughts and feelings.
C) Admire myself in the mirror. Sometimes I call my friends, but only if I’m in the mood. 
D) Find something fun (and perhaps crazy) to do immediately.  If I think hard enough, I can totally find a way to get into some trouble…

When I get into trouble, I typically…
A) Admit what I did was wrong.
B) Take some time to myself.
C) Cry.
D) Enjoy it.

Challenge #2   Add up your score to find out which Twelfth Night character you would most likely be mistaken for in Illyria. Use the following key: A = 1 point, B = 2 points, C = 3 points, D = 4 points

If you have...

5-7 points:  You are Matter-of-Factly MALVOLIOYou are organized and law-abiding, with a large dose of romantic. In Twelfth Night, Malvolio is the head servant who keeps order in Lady Olivia’s house. But when the other housemates play a trick on him and write him a fake love note from the beautiful Lady Olivia, he does whatever he believes will win her heart (including wearing the most ridiculous outfit). Malvolio is a complex character and therefore one of the most interesting and studied characters in all of Shakespeare’s plays.

8-12 points: You are Obviously ORSINO
You have a big heart, and don’t shy away from your emotions. You embrace your feelings and shout them to the world! In Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia, who does not show any interest in him. He deals with his devastation by listening to music alone is his home, surrounded by his favorite people. The Duke Orsino is loving, kind and sensitive. He is welcoming of strangers and open to new ideas.  

13-16 points: You are Outstandingly OLIVIA
You are confident, attractive and the apple of everyone’s eye. In Twelfth Night, Lady Olivia is a wealthy, beautiful and noble lady who has many male suitors. Like Orsino, she enjoys wallowing in her own misery but she is also confident in herself in a way that he is not. Olivia is romantic, but never takes romance too seriously.

17-20 points: You are Totally TOBY
You love a good laugh and enjoy practical jokes. In Twelfth Night, Sir Toby Belch is Lady Olivia’s uncle who lives with her. He loves to be rowdy and cause a ruckus in the household. He and his friend Maria (who later becomes his wife!) are the conspirators behind the prank on Malvolio that sends him into madness. Toby brings the play to life with his spirit and is always ready to have a good time! 

Challenge #3   Roses Are Red, Viola Is Blue...
Now that you know which character you are most like, use what you already know about the story of Twelfth Night to write a love letter from your character to one of the other characters in the story.

To navigate the dilemmas of courtship, use Edward Phillips’ guide to romance, The Mysteries of Love & Eloquence, Or the Arts of Wooing and Complementing published in 1658. Explore the language of the Stuart Period to craft a poetic profession of love of Shakespearean proportions!

Try including at least three of the compliments below:
  • Your face is full of sunshine.
  • Your eyes dart lightning through the air.
  • The stars borrow new light from your most radiant eyes.
  • Your lips are like a full ripe cherry.
  • Your arms are fit to embrace a (king/queen).
  • Your tongue is oiled with courtly flatteries.
  • Your words, like music, please me.
  • You are the rising sun which I adore.
  • You are a flame of beauty.
  • I wear you in my heart.
  • Your breath calls sweet perfumes.
  • There is no treasure on earth like you.
  • Mine eyes have feasted on your beauteous face.
  • Your eyes are orbs of stars.
  • Your hair is soft as new spun silk.
  • Your eyes are like richest diamonds set in foils of ivory.

Let Us Join The Fun!

  Have you written an ode to love that even Shakespeare would envy?
Share it and tag the #NewVic on Instagram or Twitter.
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