Shakespeare in Detroit to Present AS YOU LIKE IT at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Public performances are on Friday, May 17 and Friday, May 24 at 7pm.

By: Apr. 19, 2024
Shakespeare in Detroit to Present AS YOU LIKE IT at the Detroit Institute of Arts
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Shakespeare in Detroit will present “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, a fast-paced, Victorian Era adaptation devised by SiD Founding Artistic and Executive Director, Sam White.

In celebration of the DIA's special exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898 – 1971, this unique production pays homage to the often-overlooked contribution of Black artists to the silent film era in films such as “Something Good-—A Negro Kiss.”  

Shakespeare in Detroit actors and director Lynch Travis bring the story of Rosalind and Orlando, one of Shakespeare's most popular couples, to life on the DIA’s Danto Lecture Hall stage, accompanied by projection and footage from the era.The production was curated by White for young audiences and school matinees, with a 90-minute edit of William Shakespeare's comedy, featuring one of his most beloved quotes: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." 

"We wanted to honor the legacy of early black filmmakers who paved the way for diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry," says Sam White. "By setting 'As You Like It' in the Victorian era and drawing parallels to pioneering silent films like 'Something Good,' we hope to spark conversations about representation and celebrate the richness of our cultural heritage."
The cast includes Odysseus Bailer, Henry Ballesteros, Princess Beyoncé Jones, Dennis Kleinsmith, Shaunie Lewis, Asia Mark, Cassius Merriweather, Drew Parker, and Antonio Vettraino. The production and design team includes  Lynch Travis (Director), Emily Pierce (Stage Manager), Val Compau (Lighting/Projections/Sound Designer), Toni Davison (Costume Designer), Diane Hill (Artistic Producer), Sam White (Dramaturg), Foster Johns (Vocal Coach), Steve Xander Carson (Fight Choreography), and Christine Pellecchia (Managing Director).

"It is important that we offer young people accessible means to learn about history and literature and I am looking forward to helping the actors and designers create a fun experience for our audience members,” says director, Lynch Travis. "By infusing Shakespeare's classic comedy with the aesthetics of the Victorian era and paying tribute to early black silent films, we hope to offer a fresh perspective on a timeless tale."

Shakespeare in Detroit will present ten student matinees of “As You Like It” with the goal of impacting at least 3,000 students and will present two public performances at no cost to the public. All performances will take place on the newly renovated stage in the Danto Lecture Hall, located inside the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit).

Public performances are on Friday, May 17 and Friday, May 24 at 7pm.
Public performances are free with registration, for residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties:  Registration is highly recommended as capacity is limited. Seating begins 30 minutes before each performance. Sponsored by Shakespeare in American Communities and the Detroit Institute of Arts.


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