“We are thrilled to be collaborating with The Folger Theater at the Folger Shakespeare Library on this production,” said HVSF Managing Director Kate Liberman. “Like HVSF, they, too are deeply committed to producing plays that explore the essence of Shakespeare’s work for a wide and engaged audience. It is so exciting that a play that originated under our Theater Tent this past summer will be performed for new Shakespeare admirers in our nation’s capital.”
This isn’t the first time an HVSF production has migrated indoors. The Festival’s critically acclaimed, small-cast production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – directed by Eric Tucker – transferred to New York City’s The Pearl Theatre Company and was nominated for a Drama League award in 2015. And in 2017, the Festival will mount a production of LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST – directed by Ian Belknap and featuring the HVSF Conservatory Company – which will tour city schools in the fall with New York’s The Acting Company.
Still, AS YOU LIKE IT’s move to Washington is proving to be one for the record books: ten overflowing boxes of costumes and props will make their way to the Folger, as will 2016 Conservatory Company members Kimberly Chatterjee (Audrey) and Cody Wilson (Denis/William), 2015 Conservatory Company member Brian Reisman (Silvius), 2016 Acting Company member Antoinette Robinson (reprising her role of Celia), and much of the original creative team (Director Gaye Taylor Upchurch, Scenic Designer John McDermott, Costume Designer Charlotte Palmer-Lane, Lighting Designer Eric Southern, Sound Designer Leon Rothenberg, and Choreographer Alexandra Beller).
Much of the remaining cast has been assembled locally, as the Folger maintains a strong commitment to hiring DC talent. Among them are Tom Story taking on the role of Jacques, a “caustic and cynical sort… with a coat that a dusty Willie Nelson might wear” (The New York Times) originally played by HVSF’s Maria-Christina Oliveras. Musicianship certainly played a role in the design of both Ms. Oliveras’ Jacques and Mr. Story’s. “Maria-Christina’s costume was inspired by rock legend Patti Smith,” said HVSF’s Resident Costume Designer Charlotte Palmer-Lane, “so I took inspiration from another icon for Tom’s: Tom Waits.”
Rosalind, Orlando, and AS YOU LIKE IT’s cast of characters land at the Folger on January 24, 2017, running through March 5. If you make the trip, tickets run $35-$75 and the Theatre offers a number of pre- and post-show events to help you get reacquainted with the world of Arden.
“I’m honored that the ideas which energized our production will have another life at the Folger,” added HVSF Artistic Director Davis McCallum. “We’re grateful to Janet Alexander Griffin (the Folger’s Director of Public Programs and Artistic Producer) and the entire Folger Theatre team for making this HVSF-associated production a reality.”