Shakespeare gives peace a chance

Karyn Guenther and Chris Simons find love against a background of division in Aaron Caleb's production of As You Like It.



Langley
, BC – This spring, Theatre at TWU takes a trip into the psychedelic Forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, As You Like It, playing March 16 – 27. Viewing the Bard through the rose-coloured glasses of the ‘60s, this classic caper is full of “anti-establishment” antics and hilarious high jinks that remind everyone to give peace a chance and make love, not war.

One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, As You Like It unites a perfect pair of banished lovers seeking refuge from a war. A military dictatorship forces Orlando and Rosalind to flee into the woods where they discover one another in disguise. Pretending to be a man, Rosalind teaches Orlando how to properly woo a woman, and they both get an education in peace between the sexes. 

Directed by Aaron Caleb, who helmed last spring’s ingenious production of The Good Woman of Setzuan, Theatre at TWU sets As You Like It in the late 1960’s: an era infamous for tension between oppression and liberation. “It was a time in society when people were trying to break free from confines imposed upon them and escape to a place of peace,” he explains. A former second lieutenant of the Canadian Armed Forces, Caleb is no stranger to the struggle between collective order and individual freedom. “The world can get oppressive and militant, but when we take time to withdraw we can get the perspective that helps us heal and change,” he says. Arden symbolizes that potential for growth. “Everyone who comes into the forest undergoes a significant transformation. Sometimes we have to get away from the insanity of life in order to become sane in love.”

The play also showcases a rocking soundtrack. “There’s a lot of music in this show,” divulges Caleb. Mixing the Bard’s poetry with original scoring, Theatre at TWU’s production also features a multitude of familiar tunes that celebrate the sound of the sixties. “For me, the music was the driving force behind the entire production,” says Caleb. “The songs of that era really have something to say, but they also celebrate life. They give us the freedom to really play and have fun with Shakespeare.” 

25-02-2010-AsYouLikeIt03Featured in the production are Julie Casselman,Kyla Ferrier, Karyn Guenther, Lyndon Johnson, Philip Miguel, Nicola Prigge,Jordan Schuurman, Chris Simons, Danielle Spampinato, Alexandra Voicu,John Voth and Mackenzie West.  Scenic and Lighting design are by Dale Marushy, Costume design by Barbara Gregusova, and Stage Management by Ian Hengeveld,Brittany Gainer, and Sarah Weiner.

“Laughter is good for the soul, and I would love audiences to leave our production with a little pee in their pants,” confesses Caleb. “But I’d also like them to think about how we find the freedom to become more of who we truly are. In this play we’re allowed to step away from the busy-ness of life to rediscover hope, love, and our potential for transformation.” 

Playing at Trinity Western University from March 16 – 27, As You Like It is a blast from the past that has stood the test of time and delighted audiences with its comedic lovers, ridiculous capers, and profound insight into the human condition. 

For tickets or more information visit www.twu.ca/theatre

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Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Last Updated: 2010-02-25
Author: Kris Knutsen