One show only! Saturday, September 18th on the Vermont State House steps, downtown Montpelier. Nobody writes lads & lasses distractedly in love, or even witty one-liners like Shakespeare does. “Love is Merely a Madness” – and that makes for fun for the whole family! It’s Shakespeare on the State House steps!
The Bard is Back at Lost Nation Theater. As the company steps towards this “new start,” it’s fitting to take these steps on the State House steps with the show that started LNT’s tradition of Fall Foliage Shakespeare: As You Like It.
This romp thru the Forest of Arden is the ultimate rom-com, celebrating the trials and tribulations of love, and the transformative powers of love and forgiveness, in hilarious fashion. As You Like it uses all The Bard’s best tricks – cross-dressing, mistaken identities, and the wonder of the woods.
As You Like It takes the stage – or rather the State House steps – in an active and abridged staged-reading, using First Folio “cue scripts” just as they did in Shakespeare’s day. This means LNT is using the First Folio script. Patrick Tucker (The Secrets of Acting Shakespeare) has this to say about the First Folio:
“It is the closest thing to the way Shakespeare wrote his plays down. He was writing so that an actor, with no rehearsal, probably blind drunk and reading by candlelight would know what to do. These scripts, with original spellings and punctuations are chock full of refreshing acting clues.”
Ann Harvey (founder of Lost Nation Theater’s Fall Foliage Shakespeare, and formerly of NYC’s Riverside Shakespeare) is once again at the helm, directing this Shakespeare comedy – one of her all-time favorites. Here’s why it is:
“I love its optimism despite major conflict, and its willingness to move on and find something new when what you have is not to your liking. The play also leaves space for true redemption for those who don’t think they need it. It also reminds us that each person’s choices can surprise, confound and delight everyone else. Nothing is inevitable.
Returning to the State House steps to stage such a bright, breezy play is a delight. It gives us the opportunity to present As You Like It in a lovely, wide open setting that gives the forest of Arden a generous graciousness.
A dizzying dance of comedy and romance, LNT’s As You Like It features a talented cast of 14 actors and musicians coming together from across Vermont and NYC. Many of the cast are favorite longtime LNT collaborators and Shakespeare specialists, others are brand new to the community including: G. Richard Ames, Kim A. Bent, Essence Brown, Richie Dupkin, Erin Galligan Baldwin, Lisa Jablow, Marissa Mattongo, William Pelton, Jelani Pitcher, Anna Rock, Mark S. Roberts, Jennifer Sassaman and Shanda Williams.
Original music is written by Kathleen Keenan and performed by fiddler Susan Reid. Cora Fauser consults on costuming elements and scenery is handled by Harvey and Bent. Peter Guihan provides sound support to ensure everything is heard by the audience. Speaking of the audience, Lost Nation Theater’s founder Kim Bent says:
“Everyone should see at least one Shakespeare play performed outside with the sun as the only illumination, fully exposed to whatever random distractions might occur. It’s the only way to fully appreciate how compelling Shakespeare can be. You can’t help but be drawn into the action, and the music of the language is captivating. Inevitably, you find yourself paying rapt attention, not wanting to miss a beat.”
Audiences are asked to bring their own cushions – seating will be on the steps (or chairs for limited side lawn use); to adhere to social distancing guidelines, to wear a mask at all times and be prepared to provide contact info for contact tracing use only.
Safety is being taken very seriously. We are so grateful to all the performers, production team and technicians for sharing their time and talents to make this possible. Special thanks to Walter Westinghouse and U-32 for their assistance.
Just 1 show! 2 p.m. Saturday September 18. 90 minutes, no intermission. It’s free! (but donations gratefully accepted). The show will also be recorded for on-demand viewing. For information: visit lostnationtheater.org.
“All The World’s a Stage!” – William Shakespeare, As You Like It. Join us on our stage!