Photo Flash: AS YOU LIKE IT Comes to Antaeus This Month
Internationally recognized Shakespeare specialist Rob Clare directs one of the Bard's most popular and delightful romantic comedies, filled with shrewd observations about life, love and human nature. Antaeus Theatre Company presents a fully partner-cast production of As You Like It, opening July 27 and July 28 (one opening for each cast) at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. Low-priced previews begin July 20.Rosalind, daughter of a banished Duke, is forced to flee the court and enter the Forest of Arden when her uncle threatens to have her killed. Accompanied by her cousin Celia, Rosalind disguises herself as a man for safety's sake. The disguise comes in handy when Rosalind tests the devotion of her admirer Orlando, another exile, and teaches him lessons of the heart. One of Shakespeare's great comedies, As You Like It subverts the traditional rules of romance, confusing gender roles, nature and politics to reflect on how bewildering - yet utterly pleasurable - life can be. "Shakespeare was not only ahead of his time, he was ahead of ours - we have some catching up to do," suggests Clare. "This is a play that asks important questions about the nature of life and the meaning of love. As joyful and uplifting as it is, the characters are not simple. The wonderful intimacy of the Antaeus space gives us the chance for a close-up view of their remarkable complexity and individual truths." In the Antaeus tradition known as "partner casting," Julia Davis and Sally Hughes share the role of Rosalind, with Desiree Mee Jung andAbigail Marks partnering as Celia. Matthew Gallenstein and Daisuke Tsuji play Orlando, while Wayne T. Carr and Daniel Dorr portray his estranged brother, Oliver. Also in the two casts are Brian Abraham and John DeMita as Duke Frederick; Bernard K. Addison and Eve Gordon as Duke Senior; Tony Amendola and James Sutorius as Jaques; JD Cullum and Adam J. Smith as Touchstone; Steve Hofvendahl and Alberto Isaac as Corin; Paul Culos and Adam Meyer as Silvius; Anna Lamadrid and Erin Pineda as Phebe; Elyse Mirto and Karen Malina White as Audrey; John Bobek and Ian Littleworthas Amiens; Ben Atkinson and Luis Kelly-Duarte as Charles; Mitchell Edmonds and Tim Halligan as Adam; Janellen Steininger and Todd Waring as Martext; and Andy Stokan and Sedale Threatt, Jr. as Jacques de Boys. According to Antaeus co-artistic directors Bill Brochtrup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan, "As You Like It shows us the courage of a young woman breaking out of the constraints of her world and starting anew in the Forest of Arden, where the rules are much more fluid. Funny, hopeful, sad and wise, this play moves us through all the seasons of the heart." The award-winning creative team includes scenic designer François-Pierre Couture, lighting designer Leigh Allen, costume designer A. Jeffrey Schoenberg, sound designer Peter Bayne, props designer Anya Allyn Kolesnikoff and text coach Elizabeth Swain. The assistant directors are Rachel Berney Needleman and Victoria Pearlman, and the production stage manager is Kristin Weber. Rob Clare was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, a staff director at England's National Theatre, and associate artistic director of the major UK touring company, Compass. Becoming increasingly interested in differing approaches to working with Shakespearean verse, he completed a doctorate in the subject at Oxford University. He has worked in numerous training institutions within the UK and established the MA Classical Acting course at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, which he also led for its first three years. Since resuming his freelance career he has directed and/or taught Shakespeare in Ireland, Austria, Germany, Australia and the U.S. In India, he directed Hindi productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. For most of the past decade, before moving to the U.S., he worked regularly as a freelance specialist verse and text coach with the RSC's core acting ensemble, leading annual workshops and master classes, and working in and alongside rehearsals for productions of Richard III, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V and Hamlet. In the U.S. he has worked as visiting faculty at the Juilliard School, Yale Drama, Brown, USC, CSU Long Beach and NYU Tisch (both graduate and undergraduate acting). He has also directed productions of Cymbeline (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival), Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor (American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Marin Shakespeare Company), King Lear (Luna Stage, Orange NJ), The Winter's Tale (Hang A Tale Productions, NYC), As You Like It (Kentucky Shakespeare), Richard III (Idaho Shakespeare Festival), Pericles (USC) and The Duchess of Malfi (CSU Long Beach), and is currently preparing to direct Love's Labour's Lost (Marin Shakespeare Company) and Othello (New Orleans Shakespeare Festival). He has worked regularly at the NYC Actors Center, the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC, and with the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company, for whose ensemble he led Shakespeare workshops and also provided specialized verse and text work for Tina Landau's production of The Tempest. Antaeus is a cooperative theater ensemble founded to empower the actor and to bring classical theater to Southern California. The company exists to create a family of artists and audiences and is dedicated to exploring stories with enduring themes. Taking their company name from the Titan who gained strength by touching the Earth, Antaeus members - many of whom are familiar to film and television audiences - regain their creative strength by returning to the wellspring of their craft: live theater. Members of the company span a wide range of age, ethnicity and experience; they have performed on Broadway, at major regional theaters across the country, in film, television and on local stages, and are the recipients of numerous accolades and awards. Audiences, who never see an understudy due to Antaeus' trademark "partner casting," frequently return to see the same play in the hands of an equally excellent but very different set of actors. The new Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center complements Glendale's ongoing commitment to integrate vibrant arts space into the fabric of city life, ensuring the arts remain accessible to all. Located across the street from The Americana at Brand, and just a few blocks from the newly remodeled Glendale Central Library as well as the Alex Theatre, the center promises to build upon Glendale's growing reputation as an arts and entertainment destination. The center includes an 80-seat theater, a reconfigurable 45-seat performance/classroom space, a theater classics library and a lobby art gallery. Antaeus's current gallery exhibition, viewable through September 10, features photographs by Ayaka Kinzel, recipient of Glendale Foundation's annual Foundation Photography Scholarship. All the artwork on display is available for purchase, and a portion of the proceeds goes to Antaeus Theatre Company. Performances of As You Like It take place July 27 through Sept. 10 on Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. (no matinee performance on Saturday, July 29). Tickets are $30 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $34 on Saturdays and Sundays.The Kiki and David Gindler Performing Arts Center is located at 110 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205 (between N. Brand Blvd. and Maryland Ave.). The first 90 minutes of parking is free, then $2 per hour, in Glendale Marketplace garage located at 120 S. Maryland Ave (between Broadway and Harvard). The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call 818-506-1983 or go to www.antaeus.org.
Photos by Daniel G. Lam Photography
Luis Kelly-Duarte, JD Cullum Photo by Daniel G. Lam Photography