As You Like It
Feb. 20-March 2, 2014
Directed by Heather E. Hamilton
Scene Design by John David Paul
Costume Design by David McCarl
Lighting Design by Steven Smith
Sound Design by Luke Walchuk
About the play:
Explorations of love lie at the heart of As You Like It.
Set in two principal locations, the rigid hierarchical patriarchy of a usurped court and the unstructured and pastoral
potentiality of the Forest of Arden, the play consistently and comically examines the social construction
of romance and what it means to be both a man and a woman.
Although As You Like It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623, it was to be over 100 years before any
performance was recorded. However, parts of the play were seen in 1723 in Charles Johnson’s play,
Love in a Forest, at the Drury Lane Theatre, London.
The first production known to be faithful to Shakespeare’s text took place in 1740, also at Drury Lane and was a
great success. Indeed, by 1741 it was joined by a production at Covent Garden signaling the subsequent
popularity of As You Like It.
Productions in the 19th century were presented with large casts and great attention to realistic settings—particularly
the Forest of Arden—and substantial cuts to the text were often made to allow lavish theatrical set-prices.
William Charles Macready’s 1842 production at Drury Lane, for example, featured a cast of 97 and an exciting
and realistic wrestling match.
It was to be after World War I before the full, uncut text of the play was seen. Nigel Playfair’s 1919 production at the
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon was a ‘modern’ production which outraged many
traditionalists with its stylized medieval settings. As the 20th century progressed, productions became
increasingly dominated by their Rosalinds, attracting the great stars of each generation. Peggy Ashcroft played
Rosalind to great acclaim in 1932, as did Edith Evans in 1938 and Vanessa Redgrave in 1961.
—Taken from Shakespeare in Performance, edited by Keith Parsons and Pamela Mason
Read more about it!
Here are some links to a number of quality As You Like It study guides:
The Utah Shakespeare Festival: http://www.bard.org/education/studyguides/AsYou/likeit.html#.UuadsWTnbhM
Orlando Shakespeare Theater: http://www.orlandoshakes.org/pdfs/curriculum-guides/AsYouLikeIt_SG.pdf
Folger Shakespeare Library: http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=2507
American Players Theatre: http://americanplayers.org/assets/documents/As_YouStudy_Guide.pdf
Stratford Shakespeare Festival: http://www.stratfordfestival.ca/uploadedFiles/Stratford/Watch_and_Listen/Publications/Study_Guides/As%20You%20Like%20It%20Study%20Guide.pdf