As You Like It

By William Shakespeare
June 1 2001
directed by Lynn Nichols

Unable to convince his elder brother Oliver to share their inheritance, Orlando DeBoys challenges Duke Fredrick's best wrestler in a desperate attempt to win himself a name. He beats the wrestler, gaining the good graces of Rosalind, daughter of the former Duke, who has been banished to the forest of Arden by the usurping Duke Fredrick. Ridden with jealousy, Duke Fredrick banishes Rosalind, who leaves for Arden dressed as a boy named Ganymede with Fredrick's daughter Celia and Touchstone the fool. Orlando, warned by his servant Adam of Oliver's plans to kill him, also heads for the forest. In Arden, where Jaques savors his melancholy, the banished Duke prepares a banquet. Orlando interrupts, demanding food for his old servant Adam, and the Duke invites them to join in the meal. Meanwhile, Rosalind and her company settle down to lives as shepherds when Celia discovers Orlando's love letters to Rosalind posted on trees. Rosalind (as Ganymede) agrees to "cure" Orlando of his love by having him woo her. A shepherdess, Phebe, falls for the disguised Rosalind while being pursued by the shepherd Silvius. Touchstone falls in love with Audrey the Goat-herder and has trouble waiting for a minister to marry them. Oliver, ordered by the Duke to find Orlando, is saved by his brother, repents his former jealousy, and falls for Celia. In love with Orlando, pursued by Phebe, and trying to relinquish her role as a man, Rosalind conspires with a surprise visitor to show what love truly means.

Date Time
Friday June 1 12:00 am
Closed

Unable to convince his elder brother Oliver to share their inheritance, Orlando DeBoys challenges Duke Fredrick's best wrestler in a desperate attempt to win himself a name. He beats the wrestler, gaining the good graces of Rosalind, daughter of the former Duke, who has been banished to the forest of Arden by the usurping Duke Fredrick. Ridden with jealousy, Duke Fredrick banishes Rosalind, who leaves for Arden dressed as a boy named Ganymede with Fredrick's daughter Celia and Touchstone the fool. Orlando, warned by his servant Adam of Oliver's plans to kill him, also heads for the forest. In Arden, where Jaques savors his melancholy, the banished Duke prepares a banquet. Orlando interrupts, demanding food for his old servant Adam, and the Duke invites them to join in the meal. Meanwhile, Rosalind and her company settle down to lives as shepherds when Celia discovers Orlando's love letters to Rosalind posted on trees. Rosalind (as Ganymede) agrees to "cure" Orlando of his love by having him woo her. A shepherdess, Phebe, falls for the disguised Rosalind while being pursued by the shepherd Silvius. Touchstone falls in love with Audrey the Goat-herder and has trouble waiting for a minister to marry them. Oliver, ordered by the Duke to find Orlando, is saved by his brother, repents his former jealousy, and falls for Celia. In love with Orlando, pursued by Phebe, and trying to relinquish her role as a man, Rosalind conspires with a surprise visitor to show what love truly means.

Focusing on the transformation from the court to the Forest of Arden, As You Like It director Lynn Nichols emphasizes the lessons of life often denied by the structures of civilization. With Rosalind and Celia as guides (assisted by Touchstone), the audience will depart a court that has lost its heart and encounter an Arden both frightening and bursting with possibility. This production presents a world that, though rooted in English Renaissance fashions, allows the magic of the forest to emerge. Bruce Bergner's set begins as a Jacobean game-board, emphasizing the game-playing necessary to survive in a world dominated by men who scheme to deny their brothers rightful places. As the exiles move into Arden, the board transforms into a stark, wintry forest that simultaneously excites and frightens. Only as the play moves into spring does the warmth of the woods emerge: the formerly bare trees begin to blossom, and the set continues to transform to allow Rosalind, Orlando, and the rest to discover the true meaning of love, loyalty, and trust. Costume designer Janice Benning starts the characters off with dark costumes evoking the constricted fashions of Elizabethan court life. As they move into Arden, the clothes become less constrictive with monochromatic designs foreshadowing the more natural life that begins to emerge. As the set begins to gain color with the coming of spring so do the costumes, releasing the characters fully from the restrictions of their former lives as they pursue happiness and reconciliation.