Featuring some of the most famous lines penned in the English language like Jaques’ iconic “All the world’s a stage” speech, As You Like It subverts the traditional rules of romance. Gender roles, nature, and politics all become a muddle in a clever and astute comedy that reflects on how bewildering yet utterly pleasurable life can be.
When Queen Frederick (Becca McCoy) banishes her daughter Celia (Lauren Field) and the fair Rosalind (Emily Belvo) from court, they take to the woods in disguise. The honorable Orlando (Derrick Phillips) is also there hiding from his brother Oliver (Jordan Foote). Though they have already fallen for one another prior to coming to the forest through a chance meeting at a wrestling match, Rosalind hides behind the disguise of a young boy she calls Ganymede, who coaches Orlando how to win Rosalind’s love.
The exiles encounter a motley crew including the cynical Jaques (Shawn Paonessa), Touchstone the fool (Roxanne Fay), her lusty love Audrey (Katrina Stevenson), the soulful balladeer Amiens (Spencer Meyers), a trio of colorful locals (Alvin Jenkins, Michael C. McGreevy, Jessy Quinones), and Rosalind’s mother, who was banished long ago by her jealous sister (also played by McCoy).
As You Like It is perhaps Shakespeare’s sunniest comedy: a celebration of courtship, play-acting, and the natural world of seasons and change. The “winter and rough weather” of Arden breaks, true love and justice triumph, and the play ends in wedding bells and dancing.
Jobsite has been producing Shakespeare in one form or another since 2001, including their acclaimed productions of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Titus Andronicus, their original rock musical rendering of Pericles, and most recently Twelfth Night set in 1926 Ybor City.
As You Like it will be set in modern day Tampa, a choice that director David M. Jenkins hopes will “help folks more immediately grab onto the relevancy of this story. The characters are all coming out of these relatively dark spaces, painful spaces be that heart-sick love or jealousy or just good ol’ fashioned nihilism. Brothers and sisters are doing wrong to one another, there’s injustice and arguments over who can better lead.”
Audiences should expect Shakespeare’s language (though in a more compact presentation – approximately 30 minutes have been cut), but the sights and sounds clearly place the action of the play in here and now.
Jobsite has partnered with Tampa-based record label New Granada Records on the soundtrack, using tunes (some previously unreleased, some composed specifically for the show) from acts like Atlantic Oceans, Permanent Makeup, DieAlps!, and King of Spain among others.
- David M. Jenkins – Director
- Matthew Ray – Assistant Director
- Vivian Rodriguez – Stage Manager
- Emily Belvo – Rosalind
- Roxanne Fay – Touchstone
- Lauren Field – Celia
- Jordan Foote – Oliver/William
- Alvin Jenkins – Corin, et al.
- Becca McCoy – Queen Senior/Queen Frederick
- Michael C. McGreevy – Charles/Sylvius
- Spencer Meyers – Amiens, et al.
- Shawn Paonessa – Jaques
- Derrick Phillips – Orlando
- Jessy Quinones – Phoebe, et al.
- Katrina Stevenson – Audrey, et al.
- Madison Flynn – Acting Apprentice
- Thomas Morgan – Acting Apprentice
- Giles Davies – Dramaturge & Outreach Teaching Artist
- D Granke – Fight Choreographer
- Brittany Reuther – Costume Designer
- Brian M. Smallheer – Lighting and Scenic Designer
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