Go See Shakespeare in the Park

Go See Shakespeare in the Park

by Emily Brendler Shoff

It’s easy to come up with reasons not to go to Shakespeare in the Telluride Town Park. You’re broke. You’re afraid of Town Park after dark. You’re afraid of Shakespeare.

But here are a few reasons why you should dig more deeply into your wallet and soul and go see this year’s Repertory production of As You Like It.

For starters…. Hockey talent in the summer. It’s not often that you see many killer hockey players that can also act. It’s rarer still to see killer hockey players perform Shakespeare. This year, the Rep has two such stars, and they’re as successful on the stage as they are on the ice. Buff Hooper is a surly and charming Jacques, one whose melancholy energizes the stage. Emily Koren is a playful and puckish Touchstone, a fool who reminds us at once to reflect and to laugh.

After all, As You Like It is a comedy, a classic Shakespearean mix-up set in the woods, and one that is filled with identity swaps, cross-dressing, and tangled love stories. This is the play where Shakespeare offers up the line “All the world’s a stage,” a line that makes us want to laugh and cry at the same time. If the world’s a stage, are we meant only to sing and dance? Or should we crawl across the stage and bleed out our best soliloquy?

The Rep does a great job of presenting this duality and of showing us that life is never neat. Happiness only comes after we come close to sorrow, after we almost lose the ones we love in the woods and then find them again. The Rep’s production shows us that even in a comedy, there is matter to consider.

Kelsey Patterson’s performance as Rosalind and Ganymede (she is forced to disguise herself as a man after her uncle banishes her to the woods) offers just such matter. Patterson is both profound and light, simultaneously questioning women’s roles in society and laughing at her own obsession with love.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself honestly: would you rather watch a Netflix flick or watch Ashley Boling duke it out shirtless under the stars? Personally, with Ajax and the town that I love as a backdrop, there’s no place I’d rather be than watching Shakespeare under the stars. Amidst a world that seems to beg of your time more than ever, it’s nice to take a break, listen to words written 400 years ago roll over you like ocean waves, and just laugh.

Performances are Friday  – Sunday, August 19 – August 21, then Wednesday, August 24 – Saturday, August 27, 7:30 p.m., Town Park. The Sunday matinee on August 28 is at 2:30 p.m. Coffee, donuts, and brownies for sale at intermission. Bonus!

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.