Shakespeare presented at Prince George Playhouse
As You Like It, performed by the Prince George Theatre Workshop (PGTW), opens in June at the Prince George Playhouse.
Director Daniel Yule says the play was chosen because of its timeless appeal.
“As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays for performance – I think because it is so funny,” he said. “What I tried to do as director is emphasize why Shakespeare is still popular today. It’s not because scholars can write a lifetime of papers about one scene. It’s because we can still read the play and say to ourselves, ‘This is ridiculously hilarious.’”
Local producer Tim Bennett says the play shows “the lighter side of Shakespeare.”
A narrator allows the audience to follow the storyline, he said.
“Even people who have never read Shakespeare will enjoy this play. My purpose in bringing this play to Prince George was to show people how enjoyable his work can be. The play is lots of fun.”
The synopsis of William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It:
Rosalind, daughter of banished Duke Senior, is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (younger brother to Duke Senior) with her cousin Celia (Frederick’s daughter.) She falls in love with Orlando but then is banished by Frederick.
Celia goes with Rosalind who’s disguised as a boy, Ganymede and Touchstone, the court’s fool, to the Forest of Arden where they happen upon Orlando and his manservant who are fleeing the wrath of Orlando’s eldest brother.
There follows an elaborate scheme devised by the cross-dressing Rosalind to find out if Orlando’s passion for her is true and capture his heart.
The cast and crew are a director’s delight, Yule said.
“I have been blessed with an absolutely fantastic cast and crew. They have done a brilliant job of bringing the play to life and I am very excited to share their incredible work with the audience. I’ve been laughing myself silly at rehearsals.”
Yule says the play will have something for everyone.
“I didn’t want to put on a Shakespeare play and let the audience take it or leave it. I wanted to do something a little different. Without giving anything away, if you think Shakespeare is boring and stuffy, this is the play to change your mind.”
Eve Ghostkeeper plays Celia in her debut stage performance. The 16-year-old PGSS student likes the fact that her character has “attitude” and she plans to play that aspect to the hilt.
“Celia gets banished to the forest along with Rosalind, her cousin and friend. Rosalind finds the love of her life and I try to keep her emotions in check. My character has attitude and she’s not afraid to tell Rosalind what she really thinks.”
Matthew Picton, 24, a UNBC graduate in psychology, plays Orlando.
“He’s in a dark place at first, then he finds love. Orlando’s brother has reduced him to a peasant and at the start he comes off as a bit of a whiner.
“At the heart of it, though I think he’s just looking for love.”
Ashley Newell plays the role of Rosalind. The 22-year-old UNBC graduate says her character is “emotionally driven.”
She has moments of playful childishness.
“I’m enjoying playing her because the director (Yule) has let me have full rein with my character. He lets me play her up quite a bit because she’s so emotional.”
William Shakespeare’s classic comedy As You Like It, performed by the Prince George Theatre Workshop, runs June 16 to 18 and June 23 to 25 at the Prince George Playhouse. Tickets are available at Studio 2880 or at the door.