“All the world’s a stage,” William Shakespeare wrote, “and all the men and women merely players.” Proving the truth of this adage, students of Youth Initiative High School perform “As You Like It” — in an adaptation by Zoe Drew-King — Nov. 10-18 in the Landmark Center Auditorium.
Featuring a versatile cast of student actors, “As You Like It” follows the lives of Rosalind and Orlando, two young people thrown into new circumstances — and, as fate would have it, fall in love. After meeting Orlando, Rosalind is forced to flee the oppressive court (as her banished father, Duke Senior, did before her) under an assumed identity, the confident fellow Ganymede. Accompanied by her disguised cousin and the court’s fool, Touchstone, “Ganymede” starts a new life as a man in the Forest of Arden. Unbeknownst to this merry crew Orlando has also escaped to the forest, avoiding certain death at the hands of his brother. Caring for the elderly servant woman Agatha, Orlando takes up with the banished Duke Senior and his court, writing odes to his new love and posting them throughout the forest. Orlando comes across Rosalind (now Ganymede), and the two of them develop a relationship — with all the complications that mistaken identity, surprising romantic interests, unexpected arrivals, and new love can bring.
Set in 2017, this production of “As You Like It” asks what it means to love and how to find ourselves even in the most challenging circumstances through comedy, music and joyous celebration.
“As You Like It” will be performed over the course of two weekends in the Landmark Center Auditorium, 500 E. Jefferson St., second floor. Performances are Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. with two 2 p.m. matinees on Sunday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 18. Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $8 per person or $25 per family with a special rate of $4 for children 12 and younger. Questions may be directed to Drew-King at YIHS at 637-6445.