Austin Shakespeare presents
Shakespeare's As You Like It
Featuring the music of Austin singer/songwriters
directed by Ann Ciccolella
November 22 - December 8, 2019
Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm
Friday, Nov. 22 Preview at 7:30 pm
No Performance on Thanksgiving Day
Rollins Theatre of The Long Center for the Performing Arts
Austin Shakespeare will bring together one of Shakespeare’s most romantic of comedies with music from some of Austin’s talented songwriters in As You Like It. Professional singing-actors will perform songs in the play, celebrating acoustic music from Austin songwriters, including Nagavalli, Susan Gibson, Trish Hinojosa, Walt Wilkins and Guy Forsythe. “We invite the audience on a journey to discover how Shakespeare’s enduring story-telling can be reflected by today’s Austin musical styles,” Austin Shakespeare Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella said.
As You Like It will star Emily Christine Smith as Rosalind. Orlando is played by Matthew Wagner. Smith performed with Austin Shakespeare recently in Songs from A Little Night Music at the Parker Jazz Club, in Zilker Park in The Merchant of Venice and at the Rollins Studio Theater in Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink. Wagner, a recent graduate of the Southern Methodist University theater department, played Telemachus, in The Odyssey for Austin Shakespeare. The cast features singing actors: Helyn Rain Messenger as Phoebe; Chuck Winkler as both Duke Frederick and Duke Senior; Web Jerome, Audrey; Patrick David Wheeler, Touchstone; Ethan Santo, Silvius; Max Green, William; and Ben Baskin, LeBeau. The cast also includes Brooke Culbertson, Cecilia; Richard Craig, Adam; Peter Young, Jaques; Carl Kraines, Oliver; John Michael Hoke, Corin; and Chris Gloyna, Charles, the wrestler.
Music from local songwriters is not the only contemporary Austin flair Ciccolella has added to the play’s fantastical forest of Arden. Costume designer Aaron Kubacak is using the Southwest fashion vibe of Austin as a jumping off point to create looks that blend western, Renaissance and outlaw/frontiersmen styles. Tara Houston’s scenic design is inspired by Austin’s thriving street art movement. “Graphic and bold in color, the design speaks to the vibrancy of Shakespeare’s gutsy characters and finds similarities in Austin’s past, and present,” Ciccolella said. Resident Lighting Designer Patrick W. Anthony will create the shifting visual moods from the court to the forest.