The Motley Shakespeare Players (Motley Shakes), the MFA Company of Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare and Performance program, run to the Forest of Arden with As You Like It, their abbreviated touring production designed for students of all ages, which will travel to local Staunton and Virginia schools throughout this academic year.
In Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, our characters find their lives uprooted and venture into the Forest of Arden, where things turn upside down as worlds collide. Full of love triangles, disguises, songs, and motley fools, our hour-long version of this classic play focuses on the joy we find in love and companionship.
In Motley Shakes’ production of As You Like It, all the world becomes a stage as the actors work to weave the audience into the world of the play. Strict and straight-laced is the new court, where Duke Frederick rules with a controlling and hand. Soon our characters escape to the Forest of Arden, where they discover a world where time moves differently and steampunk fashion abounds; a universe where corsets and ties loosen and steam technology meets Victorian fashion with a modern edge. In our increasingly sleek technological-driven world, today’s audiences, like the characters, are nostalgic for a simpler life.