Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT to be directed by William Brown
“All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players...” Shakespeare’s wildly beautiful romp through the Forest of Arden brings to life some of the most romantic scenes ever to be scribed for the stage, while throwing in a dynamic twist of gender politics. In order to test the veracity of Orlando’s love for her and Rosalind disguises herself as a man and attempts to convince him that his love for her is merely an illusion. A duke and his merry men in exile, the melancholy Jacques, a love sick shepherd and the shepherdess who spurns him all swirl around the potential lovers, shaping the evening into this most perfect of comedies.
William Brown comments, “Two aspects of As You Like It, in particular, really excite me. One is the context of the play, in which displaced persons -- forcibly exiled-- laugh, sing, and court. The other is how randomly we love and hate. It is a play where love and hate are in battle. And love wins hands down.” He continues, “I couldn’t imagine doing this play any place other than Writers’. The venue has the intimacy of sitting around a campfire and the audience will get a sense of overhearing the events of the play.”
The cast includes Tracy Michelle Arnold, Kevin Asselin, Carey Cannon, David Dastmalchian, Tim Gittings, Carol Kuykendall, Ross Lehman, John Lister, Nancy Moricette, Eric Parks, Marcus Truschinski and Larry Yando. Director William Brown will replace Ross Lehman as Touchstone during the last three weeks of the run.
The designers are Keith Pitts (scenic), Rachel Anne Healy (costumes), Charles Cooper (lights), Andy Hansen (sound), Tramon Crofford (properties). The fight director is Kevin Asselin and the verse coach is Susan Felder. The production stage manager is David Castellanos.
William Brown (Director) returns to Writers’ Theatre where he has directed Joseph Jefferson nominated productions of Another Part of the Forest, Arms and the Man, Our Town, Rocket to the Moon, Misalliance, The Glass Menagerie and Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy. At Northlight Theatre he has directed productions of She Stoops to Conquer (After Dark Award), The Chalk Garden, and Lady Windermere’s Fan, a play he also directed at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. At American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin he has directed Night of the Iguana, Shaw’s You Never Can Tell, Antony and Cleopatra, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Cherry Orchard, Twelfth Night and Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker. At TimeLine Theatre, he has directed the Midwest premiere of Tennessee Williams’ recently discovered prison drama Not About Nightingales, (six Jeff Citations including Best Play and Best Director), Halcyon Days and Paragon Springs. Brown is the Associate Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks where he has directed Heartbreak House, Cymbeline, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter’s Tale, Love’s Labours Lost, The Comedy of Errors, and The Country Wife. He most recently directed A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre. Bill received a Joseph Jefferson Award as Best Actor for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in Nixon’s Nixon at Writers’ Theatre, where he also appeared as Dr. Lyman in Bus Stop.
Marcus Truschinski (Orlando) is making his Chicago debut. He is originally from Wisconsin where credits include Milwaukee Shakespeare, Bialystock & Bloom, Next Act and four seasons with American Players Theatre. Other regional credits: Great River Shakespeare Festival and North Carolina Stage Company. He will return to American Players Theatre this summer to play Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by William Brown, and Doricourt in The Belle's Stratagem.
Tim Gittings (Adam/Corin) has previously appeared in Chicago at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Stage Left, Circle Theatre and ChicSpeare. He was last seen occasionally stepping in as Harpagon in The Miser at Northlight Theatre. Tim is a recent graduate of the MFA training program at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Kevin Asselin (Oliver and Fight Director) has appeared in The Three Musketeers (Joseph Jefferson Nomination), A Little Night Music, Romeo and Juliet, Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You Like It, School for Scandal and Short Shakespeare Macbeth, Romeo And Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Oedipus Complex (Goodman Theatre). He has worked at Shakespeare on the Green, Famous Door, Defiant, Rising Moon and the Chicago Symphony. Regionally he as spent five seasons with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, four seasons with Summer Shakespeare at Notre Dame and worked with Offsquare Theatre, Papermill, Illinois Repertory Theatre and Struther's Library. Kevin holds an MFA in Acting from UIUC.
Eric Parks (Charles/ Silvius), making his Writers’ debut, received his BFA from Pacific Lutheran University and his MFA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He spent a year with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and then spent some time with Nebraska Shakespeare Festival in Omaha before coming to Chicago.
Carey Cannon (Celia), making her Writers’ Theatre debut, has been seen locally at Northlight Theatre in Lady Windermere's Fan (with Tracy Arnold and directed by William Brown) and as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride And Prejudice (Joseph Jefferson Nomination). She has worked here in Chicago and regionally at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Apple Tree Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Vineyard Playhouse and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Cannon also spent three wonderful seasons at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin where she is thrilled to be returning this summer.
Tracy Michelle Arnold (Rosalind), making her Writers’ Theatre debut, has appeared at Northlight Theatre in Lady Windermere's Fan, The Chalk Garden, and Red Herring, Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Lady Madeline, and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Top Girls. Regional work: Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre, Next Act Theatre, Chamber Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks and eight seasons with American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI. She will be returning for her ninth American Players Theatre season this summer. This is Tracy's eighth collaboration with Bill Brown.
Ross Lehman (Touchstone) has previously appeared at Writers’ Theatre in The Uneasy Chair and Bach at Leipzig. He has worked at Marriott Theatre where credits include Kiss Me Kate, Oliver!, The Music Man, and Koko in Hot Mikado. He has played Koko in several productions of Hot Mikado, (Joseph Jefferson Award) including the West End production in London (Lawrence Olivier nomination). He has appeared on Broadway in The Tempest (with Patrick Stewart) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He has also appeared at Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, the Goodman Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, and Milwaukee Shakespeare Theatre.
David Dastmalchian (LeBeau/cast) is a graduate of The Theatre School, DePaul University, and is pleased to be back at Writers’ Theatre after appearing in Othello last season. He has been seen in Shattered Globe’s Suddenly Last Summer. In Chicago, David has worked with Caffeine Theatre (where he’s an artistic associate), Collaboraction, Side Project, Timeline, Naked Eye, Goodman Theatre and others. Television appearances include Early Edition and commercials for Nintendo, Cingular and Best Buy. He recently completed work on the upcoming feature films, The Horsemen and The Dark Knight.
John Lister (Duke Frederick/Duke Senior) has appeared in The Crucible (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), She Stoops To Conquer, Inherit The Wind, Red Herring, Lady Windermere’s Fan (Northlight Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre), Henry IV Parts I & II, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, Richard II, The Winter’s Tale, The Herbal Bed (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), The Lark (Eclipse Theatre) and Enter the Poet (Collaboraction). Regional credits include Death Trap, The Foreigner and the world premiere of Shady Business (Peninsula Players), Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and The Comedy of Errors (Notre Dame Summer Shakespeare). Television credits include the FOX - TV series Prison Break. John received his MFA in Acting from Michigan State University.
Carol Kuykendall (Audrey /Amiens) most recently appeared at Writers’ Theatre as Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town. She has worked in Chicago at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Goodman, Marriott Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, and Theatre at the Center. Her regional credits include Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and The Dining Room at Arizona Theatre Company; Fastrada in Pippin at Utah Shakespearean Festival; Emma in Panic at Riverpark Center Theatre; Dottie and Ellie in Showboat in Chicago and the National Tour. Carol is married to actor Joel Hatch.
Nancy Moricette (Phebe /cast) recently premiered her one woman show Jaspora/Imitation Haitian, Off Broadway at the 11th Annual New York Fringe Festival. She has worked with a variety of Chicago theatre’s including Lookingglass Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, MMPACT Theatre, Steppenwolf, and Rogue Theatre. This Summer she will be traveling to Haiti to aid her father in the rebuilding of a grade school he helped build on his land.
Larry Yando (Jacques/cast) has appeared in Nixon’s Nixon, Rocket to the Moon and Bach at Leipzig at Writers’ Theatre; Titus Andronicus at Defiant Theatre; The Two Noble Kinsmen, Cymbeline, The Tempest, All’s Well That Ends Well, Timon of Athens, Two Gentlemen of Verona, King Lear, Henry IV, Parts I and II and Antony and Cleopatra at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and Travesties, Ghosts, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, Electra, Measure for Measure and Travels with My Aunt at Court Theatre. He has also appeared at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire, Apple Tree Theatre, and the Royal George Theatre. Regionally, he has appeared at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre. Yando also appeared as Scar in a 3-year run with the national tour of The Lion King.
Previews are February 5-13, 2008. The opening press performance is on Thursday, February 14, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. The production runs through April 13, 2008. Curtain times are Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday matinees will be held February 2, March 12 and April 9, 2008, at 2 p.m. A matinee for school groups will be held March 26, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. There will be no performance on April 4, 2008.
Ticket prices are $40 for all preview performances; $45 for Tuesdays through Thursdays; $50 for Sunday evenings; $55 for Fridays and Sunday matinees, and $58 for both Saturday performances. Weekday Matinees are $45. Tickets are available at the Box Office, 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe; 847-242-6000 or online at www.writerstheatre.org.
Discussions with artistic staff and cast members will follow the performances on: February 19, 20, March 26, and April 1, 2008. A pre-show lecture, designed to make the Writers’ Theatre experience even more enjoyable, will be given by members of the artistic staff on February 24 and March 9, at 5 p.m. at the Woman’s Library Club (325 Tudor Court, Glencoe). The pre-show lecture will begin at 5 p.m. A Theatre Thursday and Wine Series event will take place on February 28, 2008.
Mirani’s is the Writers’ Theatre restaurant partner. Patrons can enjoy a meal at Mirani’s consisting of a salad, entrée, dessert and a glass of wine starting at only $42 including tax! For more details call the Writers’ Theatre Box Office at 847-242-6000.
As You Like It is sponsored by Magnetar Capital and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation
This program is partially supported by a grant form the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Writers’ Theatre is a professional company focusing on the word and the artist, with the playwright at the center of its mission. The 16-year-old company produces classic scripts and cultivates new works including literary adaptations, second productions and rarely or infrequently produced works of classic writers, invigorating them with new energy and a new approach. For its first 12 years, Writers’ Theatre performed in the anteroom of “Books on Vernon” at 664 Vernon Avenue in Glencoe. In the fall of 2003, the company opened its new 108-seat thrust stage performance venue at 325 Tudor Court, continuing its tradition of bringing audiences face to face with literature’s greatest creators and creations in an intimate environment.
The company continues to produce works in both spaces, maintaining an intimate theatrical experience for audiences while growing annual attendance to more than 30,000. In the past seven years, the subscriber base has grown almost 250%, from 1,500 in 2000 to more than 5,200 in 2007. With an operating budget of more than $3 million, Writers’ Theatre is supported by a staff of 16 fulltime employees and a 27-member Board of Trustees.
Fact Sheet / As You Like It
Title: As You Like It
Written by: William Shakespeare
Directed by: William Brown
Featuring: Tracy Michelle Arnold, Kevin Asselin, Carey Cannon, David Dastmalchian, Tim Gittings, Joel Hatch, Carol Kuykendall, Ross Lehman, Nancy Moricette, Eric Parks, Marcus Truschinski, and Larry Yando
Dates: Previews: February 5- 13, 2008
Press opening: February 14, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Regular run: February 14-April 13, 2008
Schedule: Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.
Thursdays & Fridays: 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sundays: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Weekday Matinees: Feb. 27, Mar. 12, Apr. 9
There will be no performance on Friday, April 4, 2008.
Special events: Pre-show lectures: Feb. 24 and Mar. 9 at 5 p.m.
Post-show discussions: Feb. 19, Feb. 20, Mar. 26, April 1
Location: Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe
Tickets: Previews: $40 for all preview performances;
Regular run: $45 for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances; $50 for Sunday evenings; $55 for Fridays and Sunday matinees are $58 for (both performances). Weekday matinees are $45.
Box Office: The Box Office is located at 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe;
NOTES OF INTEREST:
• William Brown has appeared at Writers’ Theatre in Candida, Butley, Nixon’s Nixon, Private Lives and Bus Stop, and has directed The Glass Menagerie, Rocket to the Moon, Misalliance, Our Town, Arms and the Man and Another Part of the Forest.
• As You Like It is Bill’s first Shakespearean production with Writers’ Theatre, as well as his first full-length Shakespeare production in the Chicago area.
• Of Shakespeare’s 38 plays, William has acted in or directed nearly half the canon. He will be replacing Ross Lehman as Touchstone for the last three weeks of the run.
• This production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy features real-life married couple Tracy Michelle Arnold and Marcus Truschinski, who frequently perform together at Peninsula Players in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
• Writers’ Theatre has assembled a large “all-star” cast for this production, including many actors who have worked with Bill at other theatres around the country. The cast size ties with Our Town as being the largest at Writers’.