As Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts." However, in "As You Like It," it isn't a man who plays those many parts.
This particular play by Shakespeare is a comedy about a young lady named Rosalind, whom has been just exiled by her uncle, Duke Frederick, after she found love at first sight. Her cousin, Celia, decides to go with her in exile. After Rosalind disguises herself as a man named Ganymede, together they go to the forest of Arden with Touchstone, the court fool. In the forest, they end up finding Orlando (Rosalind’s love, and yes they DID name the city in Florida after him) who doesn’t see through Rosalind’s disguise. Every scene is packed with a mix of comedy and mild drama involving politics and love.
Some of the men’s costumes (Denitsa Bliznakova) looked a little more contemporary than everybody else’s, and but the effect was not altogether unpleasing. However, the lighting (Charles MacLeod) on the set was outstanding, and when combined with the high quality acting, it made me feel like I was transported to each different setting in every act. There were apples on the ground at an orchard, there was snow falling out in the woods, and you could clearly tell whether the current scene was outdoors in the Forest of Arden, inside in a shepherd's home, or in the Duke’s palace - which I found very impressive.
The play is staged in the Space Theater, Colorado’s only theater “in the round,” and I thought the director (Kent Thompson) used the stage entrances (voms) efficiently. However, I was expecting to see more actors going up and down the aisles (where the seats are located), and maybe interact a little more with the audience.
Overall, the play is outstanding, and throughout I felt like I was there, watching the characters, not the actors. Also, the singing was perfectly in tune, and the guitar playing gave the songs a little bit of charm.
DCPA’s production of ‘As You Like It’ runs until the 25th of October at the Space Theater. Tickets start at $41. I highly recommend this comedic play to anyone 9 and up. And if you get the chance to read the play beforehand, it's even better!