As You Like It (2012)

As You Like It

  • June 7 - October 14, 2012
  • Directed by Jessica Thebus | By William Shakespeare
Run Time:Closed October 14

Can one desire too much of a good thing?

When your life is at risk and you flee court to find refuge in the woods, it’s good to have a clown along. Stepping into the magical Forest of Arden with the philosophical fool Touchstone and her cousin Celia, Rosalind disguises herself as a young man and takes a walk into self-discovery. In this brave new world, she finds other court exiles—and the man she loves! Falling in love and learning who you are by acting the part are at the heart of this sumptuous, Victorian fantasy production in which romantic playfulness builds to a woodland wedding extravaganza.

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Duke Frederick has usurped the throne of his elder brother, Duke Senior. Duke Frederick banishes his brother but keeps Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, as a companion for his own daughter, Celia. The two young women are more like sisters than cousins. Paralleling the enmity between the two Dukes is that between the sons of the late Sir Roland de Boys. Oliver, as the eldest, inherits everything. He treats the younger Orlando more as a servant than a brother or noble, and he even plots to have him killed by Charles, his wrestling opponent. But much to the surprise of everyone at court, Orlando wins the match—and Rosalind’s heart.

Soon after, Duke Frederick banishes Rosalind. Celia determines to join her, as does the court clown, Touchstone. In order to travel safely, the two young women disguise themselves as commoners, with Celia as “Aliena” and Rosalind as “Ganymede”—a boy. The trio finds a new home in the Forest of Arden.

Orlando flees his brother’s home, taking with him the ancient servant, Adam, who gives the young man all his savings. The two also end up in Arden. Nearly starved and desperately worried about the ailing Adam, Orlando stumbles on the exiled Duke Senior and his court. He intends to rob them at knifepoint, but instead he and Adam are welcomed—and fed.

Orlando expresses his love for Rosalind by carving her name in the trees and posting love poems on them. Rosalind, disguised as a boy, sees them and promises Orlando “he” will cure him of love by enacting a courtship, with Ganymede pretending to be Rosalind.

So convincing is Rosalind’s disguise that she inadvertently wins the love of Phoebe, a shepherdess whom the pining shepherd, Silvius, loves. Even Touchstone falls in love, with Audrey, a goatherd. It’s a tangle of unrequited loves that Ganymede promises to set right.

The happy ending is helped along by the transformation of Oliver, who comes to the forest and is reconciled with his brother. Oliver and Celia fall in love at first sight, and Duke Senior declares he will marry the two the next day. Rosalind seizes the opportunity to make some seemingly impossible promises and demands. She demands that Phoebe marry Silvius if she can’t wed Ganymede, and she promises Orlando he will marry Rosalind.

The following day, Rosalind reveals herself, and Phoebe hastily agrees to marry Silvius. Orlando and Rosalind are united, as are Celia and Oliver, Silvius and Phoebe, Touchstone and Audrey—a quadruple wedding, with Hymen, the god of marriage, officiating!

Adding icing to the cake, it seems Duke Frederick has had a change of heart and decided to become a monk; Duke Senior will be restored to his rightful throne, and all of the exiles will return to court. All but one. Jacques announces she will not return with them but will follow Duke Frederick in a life of contemplation. The rest celebrate.

Artistic Team

Jessica Thebus
Scenic Designer
Todd Rosenthal
Costume Designer
Linda Roethke
Lighting Designer
Jane Cox
Andre J. Pluess
Lezlie Cross
Voice and Text Director
Sara Becker

Cast List

Wayne T. Carr*
Kenajuan Bentley*
Duke Senior/Ensemble
Howie Seago*
Duke Frederick/Ensemble
Michael J. Hume*
Kathryn Meisle*
Peter Frechette*
Charles the Wrestler
Kimberly Scott*
Richard Elmore*
Daisuke Tsuji*
Tyrone Wilson*
Le Beau/Ensemble
John Pribyl*
Jack de Boys/Ensemble
Ray Fisher**
Douglas Rowe*
Rodney Gardiner*
Erica Sullivan*
Christine Albright*
Alejandra Escalante*
Kjerstine Rose Anderson*
Spring Grace/Ensemble
Mandie Jenson
Summer Grace/Ensemble
Liisa Ivary*
Autumn Grace/Ensemble
Catherine E. Coulson*
Second Lord
Jason Rojas
Winter Grace/Ensemble
Kimberly Scott*
* Member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA)
**AEA Professional Theatre Intern
  • As You Like It

    Sneak Peek

    Preview our 2012 production of As You Like It, directed by Jessica Thebus.

  • Jessica Thebus

    The Story

    Director Jessica Thebus shares her ideas about As You Like It.

  • Pat Bonney

    Artist Profile: Pat Bonney

    Lead Scenic Artist Pat Bonney takes us into the world and time of the 2012 season's production of As You Like It.

  • REgister Guard logo

    The Register-Guard

    “The Forest of Arden, which serves as the setting for most of Shakespeare’s 'As You Like It', is a magic place — a home for refugees, a hunting ground for strange and savage beasts and, best of all, a catalyst for change. Guest director Jessica Thebus’ production of the familiar tale captures that magic throughout, drawing on the beauty of Todd Rosenthal’s gorgeous and engaging set to transport us from our own mundane realities to an utterly enchanting evening...Rosalind is played with style and wit by festival newcomer Erica Sullivan; festival veteran Christine Albright is a perfect foil as Celia. Another newcomer, Wayne Carr, is sweetly excellent as Orlando, who falls in love with Rosalind and then befriends her in her disguise as a boy.”

  • Daily Tidings logo

    Ashland Daily Tidings

    “A fanciful story deserves a fanciful setting. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has given us just that with this summer's production of Shakespeare's 'As You Like It,' which opened Sunday on the Elizabethan Stage. The sweet lovers and the oft-quoted speeches are all here, plus some of the most gorgeous set design and clever stagecraft that OSF can muster. Director Jessica Thebus sees 'As You Like It' as a charming fairy tale, complete with dastardly villains, damsels in distress and a wonderful clockwork prop, not to mention actors dressed convincingly as sheep and goats… this newest charming and ethereal OSF production of the play is definitely a winner.”

  • Mail Tribune logo

    Mail Tribune

    “Long seen as one of Shakespeare's happiest comedies, 'As You Like It' has been getting the minor-key treatment lately. Directors of some recent productions seem to have taken their cues from the melancholy Jacques and the air of oppression around the court of the usurping Duke Frederick. Not this time. Jessica Thebus, who directed the ebullient production...has draped the romantic comedy in the tropes of an upbeat fairy tale. The first sign of this is a highly theatrical bit of prologue when four actors appear as graces, radiant beings who function as the opposite of the furies… The Chicago-based Thebus usually directs new plays, but she's seized the chance here to create a highly theatrical take on one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies on the OSF's bulliest of pulpits. This is the one you take out-of-town visitors to see.”