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As You Like It
by Anthony Chase
Your hand guide to the plot of Shakespeare in Delaware Park's second summer production
You know summer is racing past us when the second Shakespeare in Delaware Park show opens. As You Like It is now in its second week!
After we get past Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, the most frequent question we get regarding the Shakespeare plays is, “Now, which play is that?”
As you like It is the story of Rosalind, dressed as a boy in the Forest of Arden. (Not to be confused with Viola, dressed as a boy; that’s Twelfth Night—or Portia, who appears in court, dressed as a man in The Merchant of Venice. Oh, those Elizabethans!)
This is the play that gives us the famous lines, “All the world’s a stage,” spoken by melancholy Jacques, played by Tim Newell, as well as the line, “too much of a good thing!”
To sum it up, nasty Oliver, played by Chris Kelly, has screwed his younger brother, Orlando, played by Patrick Cameron, out of his inheritance. In fact, Oliver is so hateful that he urges a visiting wrestler to break his younger brother’s neck. Despite this, Orlando wins the match, and attracts the interest of lovely Rosalind, played by Morgan Chard.
Rosalind is the daughter of Duke Senior, played by Jerrold Brown, who has been usurped of his throne by his own nasty brother, Duke Frederick, played by Steve Vaughn. Duke Senior has fled to the Forest of Arden, where he lives as a kind of Robin Hood with a crew of loyal followers. Rosalind has been allowed to remain at court because she is a close friend of Duke Frederick’s daughter, Celia, played by Anne Roaldi.
When Orlando’s loyal servant Adam, played by Larry Roswell, warns him that Oliver is plotting against his life, Orlando flees into the Forest of Arden. Incensed, Oliver banishes Rosalind, who also leaves for the Forest of Arden. To ensure her safety, Rosalind naturally disguises herself as a boy and takes the name Ganymede. Celia and Touchstone, the court jester, played by Norman Sham, go with Rosalind.
Duke Frederick is enraged by his daughter’s disappearance and orders Oliver to lead a man hunt, threatening the confiscation of Oliver’s property if he should fail.
In the forest, there is a peculiar proliferation of love struck couples, and before the show is over, an abundance of marriages and reconciliations.
Eileen Dugan, who directed a brilliant production of Macbeth in the park last summer, has been charged to wrestle As You Like It into submission. The production continues through August 14.
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