Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Rings in the New Year with William Shakespeare's Romantic Comedy
As You Like It
Directed by Gary Griffin
Now through March 6, 2011
ChicagoJanuary 12, 2011Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) rings in the New Year with William Shakespeare's romantic comedy As You Like It, staged by CST's Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin. The acting company for Griffin's lush production includes a host of Chicago Shakespeare favorites who have collectively performed over 100 roles at CST. Among the returning cast members are Kate Fry, performing the role of Rosalind in her seventh appearance at CST; Chaon Cross as Celia in her sixth CST appearance; Matt Schwader as Orlando in his ninth appearance; Phillip James Brannon as Touchstone in his fourth appearance; and longtime collaborators Ross Lehman as Jaques and Kevin Gudahl as Duke Senior, who return to CST to perform their respective 13th and 27th roles. Chicago Shakespeare Theater's As You Like It runs now through March 6, 2011, in CST's Courtyard Theater. Tickets are $44-$75 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Shakespeare's As You Like It reveals a world where courtiers, clowns, philosophers and provincials alike struggle to define their identities and discover love. The young Rosalind, Celia and Orlando flee a hostile Court for the idyllic Forest
of Arden, where their romantic adventures lead them to question who they areand ultimately find the love they seek.
As You Like It marks Gary Griffin's tenth season as a resident director at Chicago Shakespeare. In the past decade, Griffin has emerged as a prolific Chicago director with critically-acclaimed productions staged in theaters throughout the city, regional theaters across the country, New York City and abroad. Griffin garnered Jeff Awards for his CST stagings of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Pacific Overturesa production also mounted at Donmar Warehouse in London's West End, where it garnered three Laurence Olivier Awards, including Outstanding Musical Production. That success was followed by Griffin's Tony Award-nominated Broadway productions of The Color Purple and The Apple Tree. Off-Broadway, he has directed productions of the world premiere musical Saved (Playwrights Horizons), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Encores!) and Beautiful Thing (Cherry Lane Theatre), among others. At the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, Griffin staged the critically acclaimed West Side Story and Evita, and will return to direct the Festival's 2011 production of Camelot. Griffin recently directed a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado at Lyric Opera of Chicagowhere his CST colleague Artistic Director Barbara Gaines' production of Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth opened Lyric's 56th seasonand will next stage Lost in the Stars, a musical based on Alan Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country, for New York City Center's Encores! series.
Griffin has cast As You Like It with a talented Chicago company of actors that includes many frequent CST collaborators. Performing the role of Rosalind is Kate Fry, who last appeared in CST's Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, marking the Theater's debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Joining Fry as Rosalind's cousin Celia is Chaon Cross, who collaborated with Griffin on CST's Private Lives last season. Matt Schwader, performing the role of Orlando, appeared in CST's "Short Shakespeare!" production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2. Helen Hayes Award winner Ross Lehman returns to perform the role of Jaques, having most recently appeared in Chicago Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Kevin Gudahl, who received critical acclaim for his turn in Griffin's Pacific Overtures, will appear as Duke Senior. Performing the role of Touchstone is Phillip James Brannon, who last appeared in CST's Richard III. Additional CST veterans in Griffin's production include Patrick Clear as Corin, Matt DeCaro as Duke Frederick, Dennis Kelly as Adam, Elizabeth Ledo as Phoebe and Jeff Parker as Oliver. Steve Haggard, currently appearing as Benvolio in CST's Romeo and Juliet, returns as Silvius. The cast for As You Like It is rounded out by Hillary Clemens as Audrey, Nathan Hosner as Charles/William, Andrew Mueller as Amiens, Andrew Neiman as Le Beau, Mark Richard as First Lord, Austin Talley as Second Lord, Steve Wojtas as Jaques de Boys and ensemble members Josh Doucette and David Schlumpf.
The production team includes award-winning Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet, who designed the set for CST's summer musical The Emperor's New Clothes and served as the associate designer for Broadway's August: Osage County. Costume Designer Mara Blumenfeld returns to work with Griffin, with whom she collaborated on the CST productions of A Flea in Her Ear and Pacific Overtures. Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Christopher Akerlind joins Griffin's production after previously designing CST's Othello and Measure for Measure. Akerlind, a recipient of the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design, has designed the lighting for over 15 Broadway productions including The Light in the Piazza, for which he won both a Drama Desk Award and Tony Award. The production team for As You Like It also includes award-winning Sound Designers Ray Nardelli and Joshua Horvath; Composer Jenny Giering, who previously worked with Griffin on the new musical Princess Caraboo; Wig and Makeup Designer Melissa Veal; Properties Master Chelsea Meyers; Fight Director David Woolley; Choreographer Matt Raftery; and Verse Coach Kevin Gudahl.
As You Like It runs now through March 6, 2011, in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater. Tickets are $44-$75 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Programs in conjunction with performance of As You Like It include:
- Pre•Ambles: Half-hour introductory lectures on As You Like It presented by scholars will take place on Saturdays at 2 p.m. on Jan. 22, Jan. 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12, Feb. 26 and March 5; on Sundays at 1 p.m. from Jan. 23 through Feb. 20 and on March 6; and at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27. Admission is free and no reservations are required.
- Talk-Backs: Post-show discussions follow each Wednesday 1 p.m. performance. Admission is free. No reservations are required.
- "Access Shakespeare" Performances: The duo sign-interpreted performance for patrons with hearing impairments will be held on Friday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Patrons should request the sign-interpreted section when purchasing tickets in advance. The audio-described performance for patrons with visual impairments will be held on Thursday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. Patrons should reserve a headset when purchasing tickets in advance. "Access Shakespeare" tickets are $27.50 (Thursday) and $34 (Friday).
About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) offers a broad spectrum of theatrical experiences year-round, engaging and entertaining audiences from all walks of life and from around the world. CST has garnered acclaim under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, including 55 Joseph Jefferson Awards and three Laurence Olivier Awards. The Theater has experienced record growth since moving to its current, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier in 1999, and will celebrate its 25th Anniversary next season.
The 38-play canon of William Shakespeare forms the core of CST's work and Subscription Series, complemented by other dramatic works-from traditional classical theater to new classics that resonate with Shakespeare's timeless insights into the human condition. Through a 48-week season encompassing more than 600 performances, Chicago Shakespeare leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors. CST also contributes to an international community of creative exchange through its World's Stage Series, which affords Chicago audiences prime opportunities to experience the cultural and artistic traditions of some of the world's iconic theater troupes as well as sending some of CST's best works abroad. Chicago Shakespeare is committed to making theater an expansive, ever-changing and lifelong relationship. For family audiences, CST Family presents abridged Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts and world-premiere musical theater created with families in mind. CST's education outreach program, Team Shakespeare, has served over 1 million students and teachers throughout the Midwest, introducing the Bard's legacy to a new generation.
Aon Corporation is the Production Sponsor for As You Like It.
The acting company in As You Like It is supported, in part, by Carl and Marilynn Thoma.
Generous support for this production has been provided by Gayle and Glenn R. Tilles.
Music for As You Like It has also been underwritten by the Gayle and Glenn R. Tilles Music Fund.
American Airlines is the official airline of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
ComEd is the official lighting design sponsor of Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Land O’Frost is a proud sponsor of the 2010/11 Subscription Series at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Mainstage artistic productions in the Courtyard Theater are supported, in part, through a generous grant from the McCormick Foundation.