Yes, As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, but why? The plot is complicated and inconsequential, the characters are not as eloquent or eccentric as in other plays; on the surface of it, it’s a play to make one rather shrug than swoon. The reason people have always loved the play, I think, is due to things not quite logical. Like love and nature, the intertwined theme of the play. Forced away from their lives at the corrupt court to the hard life of the country, most of the characters experience a longing for their essential selves, which prompts actions both deep and ridiculous. Four (count em, four!) pairs of young lovers go through all the pain and comedy we all know about or will know about, and yet, in Shakespeare’s most magnanimous love play, we get a sense that love is possible despite the impossibility of it. This unfolds alongside a gentle, almost subliminal exploration of the big questions. So we like that. And, there’s wrestling!
The play takes place in an imaginary time, in the following locales: The DeBoys’ Estate, the Town Square, The Duke’s Council Chamber, and the Forest of Arden.
The Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall (TCHH) announces Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It as its annual free summer Shakespeare touring production to area parks and historical sites in upstate New York and southern Vermont. The live outdoor production, directed by TCHH’s new artistic director John Hadden, will tour the region from July 22 through July 31. The performances, which begin nightly at 7:00 p.m., are free and open to the public – tickets are not required for this event. The touring schedule and locations are as follows: Thurs. 7/21—Subscribers’ Gala; Fri. 7/22--The Georgi Museum, Shushan, NY; Sat. 7/23—Park McCullough House, North Bennington, VT; Sun. 7/24-- Wood Memorial Park, Hoosick Falls, NY; Mon. 7/25—Greenwich Commons, Greenwich, NY; Tues., 7/26—Crandall Park (near Obelisk) Glens Falls, NY: Thurs. 7/28-- Hildene, Manchester, VT; Fri. 7/29—Cambridge Guest Home (behind IGA) Cambridge, NY; Sat. 7/30—Salem Art Works, Salem, NY; and Sun. 7/31—Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and eventually love in the Forest of Arden. The play features one of Shakespeare's most famous and oft-quoted speeches, "All the world's a stage,” and is the origin of the phrase "too much of a good thing.” The play remains a favorite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theater. States TCHH Artistic Director and Director of As You Like It, John Hadden, “As You Like It is full of impossibilities. An exiled Duke and his followers spend years trekking to the Forest of Arden, a place with enormous snakes, lions and palm trees…Four couples demonstrate the difficulties of love… Love and marriage are just as confounding for Shakespeare’s characters as for us. It’s up to them—and us—to decide whether to say yes or no to the unlikely events of the play and to the thorny possibilities of love.” Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and folding chairs to enjoy a beguiling evening of outdoor Shakespeare that will be fun for the entire family. Hubbard Hall is an 1878 rural opera house located at 25 E. Main Street in historic Cambridge, New York. For information, visit Hubbard Hall’s web site at www.hubbardhall.org, or call Hubbard Hall for information, locations and directions at (518) 677-2495.