FSU/Asolo Conservatory Presents AS YOU LIKE IT In The Selby Gardens
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training concludes its season with Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy, As You Like It. The show, which features the entire class of second-years, is directed by Jonathan Epstein and performed outdoors in the stunning Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The production previews on Tuesday, April 9 at 8pm with a special pay-what-you-can show, offering tickets at whatever price patrons can afford when purchased the day of the performance, at a minimum of $3 per seat. The show officially opens on Wednesday, April 10 at 8pm, and runs through Saturday, April 27. Performances will run Tuesday through Saturday.
Political unrest and family feuds send Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, niece Celia, and Orlando, the object of Rosalind's affections, fleeing from Duke Frederick's court in exchange for safety in the Forest of Arden. Along the journey, Rosalind, disguised as a man named "Ganymede", plays a diplomatic companion who gives relationship advice, plans nuptials, and pretends to "cure" Orlando of his love for Rosalind. The cure is, however, ineffective, and love prevails in this timeless romantic comedy.
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will play host to Shakespeare's classic which unfolds en plein air in the round under the setting sun. Seating is limited and tickets are for general admission, with padded seats positioned on risers, providing a comfortable and excellent view for all ticket holders. Patrons will enter through the north gate, located in front of Payne Mansion, across the street from the first parking lot. The gates, onsite box office and will call open at 7pm, one hour prior to the production's 8PM curtain. Concessions will be available for purchase courtesy of Michael's On East. DEET-free bug spray will be provided at a station near the entrance to the performance space, and restrooms are available onsite. In the event that a performance is cancelled due to inclement weather, tickets can be exchanged for a different performance of As You Like It. Performances that play through intermission will not be subject to exchanges.
"As You Like It is to me the most magical of Shakespeare's plays," says director, Jonathan Epstein, "It is not the rough magic of Tempest nor the mischief of Midsummer Night's Dream, but rather such everyday magic as each of us has every day at our command. It is the magic first of all of the forest and of nature, the magic of Time and patience, the magic of plain speaking, of the dance, of generosity and of kindness. In other words, it is not the magic which transforms us into what we are not, but the magic which allows us to become what we truly are." Epstein's connection to Shakespeare goes even deeper as he and his wife Ariel were married two weeks after starring together as Beatrice and Benedick in a 1995 production of Much Ado About Nothing.
As You Like It is one of Shakespeare's most frequently performed comedies, estimated to have been written in 1599 and first published in 1623. It was first made into a film in 1936, starring Laurence Olivier as Orlando and a 2006 feature film of As You Like It was made, set in 19th-century Japan. The FSU/Asolo Conservatory performed As You Like It previously in the 2014-15 season. Shakespeare in the Gardens is sponsored by the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, WUSF, and the Observer.
The creative team includes scenic and lighting design by Chris McVicker, costumes by Sofia Gonzales, sound design by Alex Pinchin, vocal and dialect coaching by Patricia Delorey, and movement coaching by Eliza Ladd. Rachel Morris stage manages and the cast is made up of second-year students, Michael Judah, Alex Pelletier, Joe Ferrarelli, Creg Sclavi, Marc Bitler, Amber McNew, Jillian Cicalese, Brian Ritchie, Jonathan Grunert, and Carla Corvo. The show will be crewed by first-year Conservatory students.
To purchase tickets to As You Like It or other Conservatory productions, call 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, visit asolorep.org/Conservatory, or visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Box Office hours are Monday 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Thursday 10am-7:30pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-8pm, and Sunday 10am-2pm. The box office closes at 5pm when there are no evening performances, and phone lines close one hour prior to the start of any performance.
In the event that a performance is cancelled due to inclement weather, tickets can be exchanged for a different performance of As You Like It. Performances that play through intermission will not be subject to exchanges.