Hail to outdoor theatre

by Molly Crain
News Editor

A romantic comedy written by William Shakespeare, “As You Like It” will certainly be a hit this weekend at Transylvania — weather permitting, of course.

Having a plot line that bounces back and forth, “As You Like It” may have you a little lost at times. My advice is to either read up on the play briefly before going or keep a good memory log of the characters — the two most prominent being the lovers Orlando and Rosalind, played by first-years Stephen Hall and Ellen Heffron.

But by no means are they the most important or do they supply the most laughter. Leave that up to the face-painted fool, played by sophomore Nick Spencer.

Being my first outdoor theater experience, I was impressed with the cast’s general ability to vocally project over the city sounds of Lexington. I didn’t find the external noise to be too noticeable until a helicopter flew overhead. To battle this, “bombastic” voices were stressed by senior Andrew Williams, the play’s director, before the performance. However, even more amplification will be needed for some.

The setup of the show was simple. Using one of our beautiful oaks on campus as a backdrop, with a quilt hung from behind for backstage business, the stage was quaint and peaceful, leaving the actual setting up to the imagination of the audience. And if you’re bad at imagining, don’t fear. The majority of the play is set in the Forest of Arden.

Common of Shakespeare’s works, “As You Like It” tinkers with gender roles and puts on a show that is entertaining to watch. If you want to see sophomore Gabriel Estridge in a skirt and blond wig, or many talented women taking on male roles, then this is the show for you!

Costuming was also a plus even if it had rhyme but no reason at times. The melancholic Lord Jacques, who is played by junior Hayley Smallwood, has perhaps one of the most striking looks with fuchsia eyes, black lips and a bossy black getup.

Since the show is indeed outside, I recommend that you bring a blanket to sit on, or one of your lawn chairs you use in your dorm room for furniture. And lucky for you, the forecast doesn’t look too shabby — but bring a jacket as well or you probably won’t enjoy yourself if you catch a chill.

Overall it was a good performance — in need of some fine-line tuning, but that is to be expected a few nights before the show.

“As You Like It” will be playing Friday at 4:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 5 p.m., and Sunday at 5 p.m. Quoth the flyer, “Under Big Oak Tree By BSC.”

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