As You Like It 2003

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Directed by Mark von Eschen, Set and Lighting Design by Stephen Wade, Costume Design by Beverley Kobelsky

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The play opens with our hero, Orlando, bemoaning that his brother, Oliver, keeps him like a servant and not like a young gentleman.  He challenges the Duke’s wrestler Charles, hoping to win prize money, which will give him the capital he needs to leave home.  Meanwhile, Rosalind is melancholy about missing her father Duke Senior who was usurped and banished to the Forest of Arden by Duke Frederick.  Orlando and Rosalind meet at the wrestling match and fall in love, but victorious Orlando is denied the prize money and must flee home to escape his brother’s wrath.  Duke Frederick, growing suspicious of Rosalind, banishes her as well.  She and her cousin Celia flee to the Forest of Arden in disguise (Rosalind as a boy and Celia as a shepherdess) to protect themselves from ne’er do wells.  In the forest, Orlando and Rosalind meet but she must maintain her disguise.  She offers to cure Orlando of his love sickness by coaching him in the ways of love.  The forest is filled with other colourful characters including Sylvius the young shepherd who is in love with Phebe.  She, however, falls in love with Ganymede (Rosalind in disguise) instead.  Duke Senior also resides in the forest with a band of merry followers as does the voluptuous Audrey, a milkmaid who attracts the affections of Touchstone the court jester.

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