NYC Theater Company Reimagines AS YOU LIKE IT in the Summer of '69
At a time when civil liberties are under assault, there is a need to look into our past and explore how great artistic works and our history can shed light on our path forward. A new production of As You Like It takes a classic work and revisits another period of great unrest in America. The production explores societal divides and offers an opportunity for rebirth and creativity.
Founded four years ago and recently renamed, The Mechanicals is a theater company dedicated to producing new, classic, and underperformed plays that touch on our collective connection and spirit, with a core focus on social and economic justice.
Directed by Alexis Confer (whose Off Broadway credits include Shakespeare Classics like Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline), As You Like It invites you to travel with us to the America of the 1960s.
The plot of As You Like It is timeless, yet it provides us an opportunity to explore how we look at our more recent past and our turbulent present. In our production, we explore the opposing ideologies of Duke Senior and Duke Frederick on the war in Vietnam and the general state of life in their community. When the former is banished and ousted from the family business by his younger brother, Duke Senior decides to cast off his wealth and live a simple life in the Forest of Arden with his fellow anti-war protesters, musicians, and peace-loving friends. With her father gone, Rosalind and her cousin Celia make plans to join him in Arden. Before they leave, Rosalind falls in love with Orlando, who is hated by his powerful elder brother, Oliver, who is scheming to have Orlando killed. Fearing for her own life due to the fall-out with her uncle, Rosalind disguises herself as a man and flees into the forest with her beloved cousin and their eccentric friend Touchstone. Join us as we explore the love, peace, turmoil, music, social clashes, and the politics of the day through the lens of the Bard. The names and times may change, but for the stage of our world, all the men and women remain merely players.
Much like the Mechanicals of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, we are a group of multi-disciplinary artists who love creating together and contributing to our community in New York City. Our works lean into the unique opportunities that the city has to offer. Our shows feature original music and showcase the beautiful and interactive theaters of lower Manhattan.