“As You Like It” has something for everyone

There will be four performances starting in August. Opening night is Friday, Aug. 2.

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Germaine Hupe Winters Theatre Company The Winters Theatre Company will present “As You Like It,” as this year’s Shakespeare in the Park selection. The play will open its four performance run on Friday, Aug. 2, at the amphitheater behind the Winters Community Center at 201 Railroad Ave. Scholars really don’t know why William Shakespeare gave the whimsical title “As You Like It” to his pastoral romance, but it is easy to imagine the Bard sitting down, quill pen in hand, and pondering what would please his London audience. He knew many city dwellers believed that the bucolic life of shepherds was charming and that living in the countryside, close to nature, was superior to life in a noisy, crowded city. Thus Shakespeare set his play, based on Thomas Lodge’s “Rosalynde,” in the Forest of Arden and included five shepherds in his plot.   He also knew that his audience admired witty dialogue, so he gave them a saucy leading lady, Rosalind, a manly foil for her wit, Orlando, and two cynical courtiers, Touchstone and Jacques.  Romantic love and happy endings appeal to most audiences, and Shakespeare pleased them by including the marriage of four couples in his play. Elizabethan audiences liked a stable, functioning society, so “As You Like It” concludes with a usurped dukedom being restored to the rightful owner, and feuding brothers reconciled. Shakespeare’s play had something to please all elements of his audience.  They enjoyed the forest setting, they admired the intricate plot, they liked the characters, and they approved of the “socially correct” ending.  The play became one of the most popular plays in the repertoire of Shakespeare’s company, and its popularity has continued for more than 400 years. It seems the play’s title was the correct one after all.   Performance dates are Fridays and Saturdays, Aug. 2, 3, 9 and 10, at 8 p.m.  Admission is $5, and children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available at the door.   Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Refreshments will be available. More information is on the Winters Theatre Company website at http://winterstheatre.org. Contact them at winterstheatre@gmail.com or 530-795-4014.]]>

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