director and president’s notes
AS YOU LIKE IT is a witty consideration of love and of nature versus civilization as Elizabethans would have known it. Hmmm, thinks I: maybe it all runs together in a consideration of love in a free society and love governed by society's rules and inhibitions...
In Shakespeare's time, Rosalind would not have had the freedom to chose her mate or spend time with him in the woods, unchaperoned. However, in this play, Shakespeare turns her exile into liberation and she is free to play. Not only to play but to flirt and make up rules for courting, all this disguised as a man. Of course, in Elizabethan England, Rosalind would have been played by a man, which meant a man playing a woman playing a man... And then, when Orlando, her man, can no longer play, she must make a crucial decision which we have been wondering about. And then there is Silvius and Phoebe and Touchstone and Audrey and poor William. Ah, love...
Like many of Shakespeare's comedies, there is some confusion among the characters. We learn that Duke Frederick has engineered a coup against his brother, Duke Senior who has fled to the forest with a few followers. Duke Frederick also suspects his niece, Rosalind, his daughter Celia's pal since birth, so off they go. And poor Orlando, whose late father, Sir Rowland de Boys, did not get along with Duke Frederick; not only that, but Orlando's brother, Oliver...well, you'll see.
So, on with the show! These actors have earned my respect for their good work and I am grateful for the ideas and energy they have brought to this production. I have been supported by a fine bunch: Stage Manager Maggie who has kept the actors and me on track; and Wendy, Jim, Jessie, Chris, Kate and Bill who have lit, dressed, designed, painted and brought music to AS YOU LIKE IT.
Thank you for coming. Please spread the word: "Shakespeare's back in town!"
- Al Miller
This production of As You Like It warms my heart for many reasons. It is the first time I have seen Shakespeare at The Theater Project and what a treat that is! It is also a testament to the diversity of productions we host here at the The Theater Project that ranges from plays by local Maine Authors about Shakespeare to plays actually by Shakespeare. This production is also very special for me on a personal note. As you all know Al Miller is directing this production and for me as for many of you Al was my introduction to the The Theater Project. Al came to my children’s school to teach a short course on improvisation. At that course my daughter Emma caught the theater bug, and very shortly after the course Emma was at The Theater Project taking classes and acting in plays. The relationship continues as Emma plays Celia in As You Like It. Emma’s involvement in the The Theater Project drew me in as well while I have yet to be seen on stage I am thrilled to play a part in supporting the Theater Project literally behind the scenes.