As You Like It
Co-directors Christopher Ashley and Will Davis’s production ofAs You Like It bills itself as "a celebration of the limitless possibilities of love and humanity," possibilities here made manifest by the casting of trans and non-binary actors throughout. (It might have beenfascinating to go in not knowing about this particular creative decision, but the program makes a point of it.)In Shakespeare’s comedy, Rosalind and Orlando meet by chance in court and feel an immediate connection. When they are both banished, fate brings them together again in the Forest of Arden. That's when Rosalind disguises herself as the boy Ganymede and, upon meeting her beloved, proposes to pretend that he is himself Rosalind so that Orlando can practice his wooing. A complicated and highly comedic business, here complicated further by the casting of non-binary actor Esco Jouley as Orlando and transgender actor Peter Smith as Rosalind. Or perhaps, in the view of the co-directors, the opposite is true: if the forest is a place of naturalist self-discovery outside the regulated world of the city — if gender is just a construct imposed from without, etc. — then the corkscrew courtship can be read as much more straightforward. And the comedy comes, not from the hidden truth about Rosalind/Ganymede, but from the transformation of traditional understandings.
It's a bold venture, aided by the obvious talent of the cast, but perhaps undermined by the occasional whiff of camp. (If attendees werenot entirely on board with the ideology, they would still find ample opportunity to laugh.) Or perhaps, in the view of the co-directors, the opposite is true.
Ongoing until Sunday, December 11, 2022
|Sundays, 2pm-4pm & 7pm-9pm|
|Saturdays, 2pm-4pm & 8pm-10pm|