theater

Rutgers Theater Co. presents "As You Like It" Sept. 14-23

Get ready to slip into the enchanted Forest of Arden: A special workshop production of As You Like It, William Shakespeare’s buoyant tale of love and forgiveness, is set to run from Friday, September 14, through Sunday, September 23, 2012, at the Philip J. Levin Theater.

The quick-witted Rosalind, daughter of the exiled Duke Senior and niece to the rapacious Duke Frederick, flees court with her cousin Celia and others to find refuge and, ultimately, love and acceptance.

“Court life is about claustrophobic rules,” says Barbara Marchant, who re-stages and directs the production with Kevin Kittle. “There’s a communal spirit in the forest; it shimmers with humanity. So much in the world is consumed with rivalry and competition, and out of that environment, you feel different. As You Like It really is positive, and it really is optimistic.”

Kittle and Marchant direct the 15-member cast of BFA actors who have just returned from a year abroad in London studying at the Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe, a venue committed to Shakespeare’s work and the legendary 16th-century playhouse for which he wrote. The As You Like It workshop was originally directed at the Globe in London by Timothy Walker.

Marchant says As You Like It, which focuses on four couples, is about “love and all the different shapes it can take. It’s silly, deep, tumultuous; we can all relate to that journey of what love does to us. We’re pretty foolish in love, aren’t we?”

Marc Teitler’s live music, mostly choral music composed especially for the show, “provides a harmonizing and unifying influence amidst all the antagonist confusions of the world,” Marchant says.

Ultimately, Marchant says, As You Like It “affirms optimism, that human fellowship is possible, and true love is possible. You’re rooting for everyone to come together.”

As You Like It runs from Friday, September 14, through Sunday, September 23. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $15 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $10 for students with valid ID. The Philip J. Levin Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, and to learn more about the 2012-2013 season at Mason Gross Performing Arts Center and Galleries, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.

Learn more about the 2012 Rutgers Theater Company season.

Media inquiries: Laurie Granieri, 848-932-5239

Posted August 2012