The re-arrangement of gender roles in Shakespeare’s As You Like It speaks to the clear differences between gender and sexuality normativity. With regards to gender, the play utilizes a clear binary- male or female. There are two genders, and gender is not a social construct of Shakespeare’s time, rather directly linked to an individual’s sex. The spectrum of sexuality in the play however, is more fluid and not, like gender, boxed into a binary. While the couples in the play will end as heterosexual pairs, the play allows for differences from the so-called norm with different characters expressing their sexuality.
In an analysis of her own performance as Rosalind in As You Like It, Juliet Stevenson offers up some insight into the role that gave one particular scene a new meaning to me. The scene in question is act 4 scene 1, wherein Orlando has just returned to Rosalind, whom he still believes to be Ganymede. What I found notable about Stevenson’s take on Ganymede is that he is not simply a pseudonym being used by Rosalind in this scene, but instead a device she uses to protect herself, turning it on and off at will. Continue reading
“IF SHAKESPEARE WERE ALIVE TODAY, HE WOULD HAVE WRITTEN LIKE THIS.” The score … would be chart-climbers if this were a time when show tunes still climbed charts. -David Finkle, theatremania.com
“GLEEFULLY SENDS UP THE ERA’S MUSIC, AND THE TUNES INCORPORATE VARIOUS ROCK, PUNK, AND POP STYLES.” -Matthew Murray, talkingbroadway.com
“LIKE YOU LIKE IT DESERVES GREAT SUCCESS, TOO, AND WILL WIND UP BEING PRODUCED EXTENSIVELY IN HIGH SCHOOLS.” -Peter Filichia, theatremania.com
What happens when you mix the classic William Shakespeare comedy of As You Like It with the wildly popular genre of music and culture of John Hughes’ 1980s films?
The result is a new and exciting musical adventure centered on the coolest locale of the time… the Robin Sparkles-esque 1980s mall scene.
Nothing makes for a motivational quote quite like a good conditional.
“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
“If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” -Marilyn Monroe (?)
“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.” -Bernard Shaw
Celia and Rosalind—Rosalind and Celia—are not just a retread of Helena and Hermia from A Midsummers Night’s Dream. Their identities, though bound to and mirrored in each other, also clash, and not over the ways they’re alike. Power, from the outset, between the two women is up for grabs, but not in standard competition. There’s no object of mimetic desire suspended between them, and they’re no subject of someone else’s. The power exists only between them and can only be granted from one to the other.
The question then, is, how to play them?
Sophie Thompson played both the roles of Celia and Rosalind, in succession with different companies. According to her essay, Rosalind (and Celia) in As You Like It, having played Celia before taking on the role of Rosalind informed how she embodied Rosalind. As the characters are so intertwined throughout the play this is hardly surprising. But did the playing of Celia impact how Thompson played Rosalind in a beneficial way? Continue reading