Love and the possibility of change
As You Like It
Rosalind and Orlando engage in a glorious game of love, lust, and mistaken identities in a magical forest in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Kelly Kitchens directs the production which runs April 23 through May 19 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center.
“I am very much looking forward to the vision that Kelly has for this production. She’s been a friend and collaborator for many, many years,” said Seattle Shakespeare Company Artistic Director George Mount. “She knows this play quite well having performed the role that I’m playing. This is now the third role that Kelly and I have both shared.” Mount will play the character of Jacques in As You Like It. Kitchens previously played the role in a Wooden O production of As You Like It in 2015. Mount and Kitchens have also played Kate in The Taming of the Shrew and Saturninus Titus Andronicus in separate productions.
Kitchens has put a sharp delineation on the two worlds of As You Like It: The dangerous realm of the court and the world of “what if” in the forest of Arden. “The thing I’m most interested in exploring in this play is the pulsing, beating human heart and that sense of humor we all have,” said Kitchens. “And our ability for redemption and re-creation.”
In As You Like It, Rosalind seeks out her exiled parent by escaping from an oppressive court, disguised as a boy. She flees with her cousin and a clown to the Forest of Arden. The woods offer not only freedom, but also a motley crew of characters and the chance to experience life and love with a fellow outcast, Orlando, from a whole new perspective.
Kitchens has restructured scenes in the play. “One of the things I really want to do is pressure cooker us into Arden, and make that journey urgent and necessary. The two spaces (Court and Arden) really need to talk to each other because most of these people will end up returning to court,” said Kitchens. She and her design team will create a stage world inspired by current fashion and wintery landscapes.
Jonelle Jordan and Quinlan Corbett will play Rosalind and Orlando. They are joined Peter Crook as Duke Frederick/Corin, Bobbi Kotula as Duke Senior, Sunam Ellis as Celia, and Rebecca M. Davis as Touchstone. Set design for the production is by Julia Hayes Welch, costume design by Chelsea Cook, lighting design by Thorn Michaels, sound design by Rob Witmer, and original music by Tim Symons and Leslie Wisdom.