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Austin Shakespeare in the Park Kicks Off Today with AS YOU LIKE IT

Austin Shakespeare in the Park Kicks Off Today with AS YOU LIKE IT

In celebration of its 30th Free Shakespeare in Zilker Park, The City of Austin, Austin Parks and Recreation Department and Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theatre, in coordination with Austin Shakespeare, present As You Like It. The show brings new actors and company alumni together in a RenFaire-style As You Like It. Performances run 8 pm Thurs-Sun., from today, May 1 - May 25, with a preview on April 30.

One of Shakespeare's most delightful romantic comedies, As You Like It is the story of Rosalind, the smartest girl in the world, falling for Orlando, the most handsome boy, both of whom are banished to the forest of Arden. Through the course of the play, Rosalind must disguise herself as a boy, testing the true love of the unsuspecting Orlando. Their journey leads them to encounter a band of merry men, silly shepherds and a melancholy philosopher.

As You Like It is also the favorite Shakespeare play of Austin Shakespeare's Artistic Director, Ann Ciccolella. "I am thrilled to be directing this play. Audiences will spend an evening with some of Shakespeare's most memorable characters, such as the quick-witted heroine Rosalind, Touchstone the Jester, and hearing the legendary 'Seven Ages of Man' speech," she says.

Shakespeare's comedy features professional actors, many of whom new to the company: Kami Smith (Celia); Brian Coughlin (Touchstone, the Fool); Reginald Brown (as both the good and evil Duke); Patrick Schmidt (Adam); Kevin Squire (Charles, the Wrestler); Glenn Pieper (Fluist); Amanda Henkel (Audrey) and Matthew Jordan as (William).

Several of the leading actors have worked with Austin Shakespeare in the past, as well as starred in the Austin theater scene: Liz Beckham (Rosalind); Keith Paxton (Orlando); Michael Miller (Jacques); Alison Stebbins (Phoebe); Devin Finn (Oliver); Nicholas Kier (Silvius/Amiens) and Robert Stevens (Corin). Understudy Rosalind Faires will play "Rosalind" on Sat. and Sun. May 10-11.

The professional design team includes lighting by Jason Amato; scenery by Tara Houston, costumes by Emily Gilardi and properties by Devon Brownlow.

The show culminates with four weddings in a RenFaire fun-fest while everyone sings - 'With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino!'

Performances at the Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theatre located adjacent to Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park. The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require special assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities, call (512) 974-6700.

AUSTIN SHAKESPEARE: Austin Shakespeare's mission is to present professional theatre of the highest quality with an emphasis on the plays of William Shakespeare, bringing to the public performances that are fresh, imaginative, thought-provoking, and eminently accessible, connecting the truths of the past with the challenges and possibilities of today. Founded in 1984 Austin Shakespeare is the only professional classic theater company in Central Texas. Austin Shakespeare also brings professional actors and directors directly into the classroom throughout Central Texas.

Austin Shakespeare is a member of the Austin Creative Alliance, and is funded in part by the City of Austin through The Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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