Telluride REP Presents "As You Like It": opens Friday, 8/19

Telluride REP Presents "As You Like It": opens Friday, 8/19

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Jeb Berrier]



As You Like It poster Last year, after a five-year time out, the Telluride Repertory Theatre brought back  its very popular Shakespeare in the Park with a production of  “The Merchant of Venice.”

“Merchant of Venice” is not light fare. It deals with racial profiling in the person of Shylock (said Merchant), whom the Bard portrays in a somewhat grotesque, anti-Semitic caricature. Ultimately “Merchant” is about the complex nature of humanity: none of us are without prejudice. All of us reflect shades of gray. This year, the tone changes. Jeb Berrier returns to direct, but this time, one of the Bard’s most popular comedies.

“As You like It” is a gender-bending comedy that takes place in the woods, where, as it turns out, a number of Shakespeare’s happiest plays are set: “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” “A Winter’s Tale” and “The Tempest” among them. When the Bard’s inner Faun comes out to play, men and women are lost to the world for a time to indulge in whatever inner impulse strikes them. In general, they return to the real world as refreshed as they would after a day at a spa. Inside the enchanted world of the forest, we are never surprised by what happens. Just delighted.

In “As You Like It,” Rosalind and her cousin Celia trot off to the Arden Forest because of a falling out with Celia’s tyrannical dad, Duke Frederick. There they meet Orlando, who has run off to escape the wrath of his hard-hearted brother Oliver as well as the vengeful Duke. While hiding out in Arden, the ladies interact with a troupe of characters that includes Rosalind’s exiled Father, Duke Ferdinand (Clarence Smith), and his gleefully melancholic sidekick Jaques. What follows is an elaborate scheme devised by the cross-dressing Rosalind to find out the verity of Orlando’s supposed passion, and to further capture his heart through the witty and mischievous façade of Ganymede.

Most memorable line from the play: “All the world’s a stage.”

Most memorable phrase now in pop culture: “Too much of a good thing.”

A local cast of 18 performs.

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.

An opening night Patron’s Party takes place on Friday, August 19, 5:30 – 7:15, at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. Wine and hors d’oeuvres served.

For further information call 970-728-4539 and click the ‘play” button to listen to my interview with Jeb Berrier.

Cast list:

Jeb Berrier – Director
Lutz Florczak – Producer
Deb Gesmundo – Stage Manager
Buff Hooper – Set
Mark Froelich – lights
Karen Clarke – Costumes
Meredith Muller – makeup
Susan Ensor – music

Kelsey Patterson – Rosalind
Bubba Schill – Orlando
Sophie Spillman – Celia
Peter Chadman – Le Beau, Amiens, Sir Oliver Martext, music
Megan Heller – Phebe
Terry Tice – Duke Senior
Linda Levin – Duke Frederick, wedding singer
Buff Hooper – Jaques
Ashley Boling – Charles the Wrestler, Adam the Servant,  Silvius
Emily Koren – Touchstone
Mike Harold – Lord, Corin, Jaques De Boys
Rick Silverman – Lord 1
Emma Walker Silverman – Hymen (Goddess of Marriage)
Ben Williams – Oliver
Susan Rahman – Audrey
Simon Perkovich – Dennis, Page, Lord, William
Jaxon Mosher – Lord, Page
Claudia Betz – Page, Lord, wedding singer

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