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Shakespeare Theatre Company Presents AS YOU LIKE IT, Now thru 12/7

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The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, opens its 2014-2015 mainstage season with William Shakespeare's romantic comedyAs You Like It, directed by Michael Attenborough in his American regional directing debut. As You Like It will play at the Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW) from today, October 28-December 7, 2014.

"Michael Attenborough has had a long and illustrious career in English theatre, and I am pleased to finally bring him to D.C.," says STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn. "This production was born a few years ago when I approached Michael and asked him what show he would like to direct for us. His answer was immediate and twofold. First, Michael told me he wanted to direct As You Like It, which he calls one of Shakespeare's most 'intimate' plays. Second, he wanted to direct it in the Lansburgh Theatre, whose intimate confines he felt were more suited to the aesthetic of the play. I am confident that his production will be one worth waiting for."

When Rosalind escapes to the Forest of Arden-disguised as a boy and with her cousin and the court fool in tow-she seeks only refuge from her uncle's wrath. But the woods prove home to even stronger emotions that Rosalind must unravel. All the world's a stage in As You Like It, one of Shakespeare's most playful of comedies, where poetry, disguise and mistaken identity intertwine with ardent desire, fervent wooing and the mysteries of love.

"The center of the play, the heartbeat of this play, sits inside the character who, in my view, is probably Shakespeare's most extraordinary achievement in writing about women: Rosalind," says Michael Attenborough. "I think Rosalind is the female Hamlet; she is as complex, interesting, deep and contradictory as Hamlet is. She's smarter than everyone in this play-she's even smarter than Jaques, and he's as smart as they come. I've got an actress playing Rosalind who I've done four plays with, Zoë Waites-she was my Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She'll be a wonderful Rosalind."

Zoë Waites makes her Shakespeare Theatre Company debut in the role of Rosalind. She is joined by a cast that includes several familiar faces, including STC Affiliated Artists Derek Smith as Jaques and Gregory Wooddell as Oliver, as well as Andrew Veenstra (The Heir Apparent, The Two Gentlemen of Verona) as Orlando.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company, in partnership with the U.S. Botanic Garden, presents "Escape to the Forest of Arden," an interactive walking journey inspired by As You Like It. An examination of nature through the lens of William Shakespeare's writing-as performed by some of D.C.'s finest actors-this unique podcast takes participants on a journey through the U.S. Botanic Garden, using the Bard's poetry as the compass for an immersive detour from the busyness of city life. Hear Romeo call to his love from between greenhouse branches, journey through a fern-filled primeval forest with the fairies of A Midsummer Night's Dream, remember Ophelia's watery reflection amidst the flowers she adored, and challenge your imagination without leaving the boundaries of the National Mall. The podcast can be downloaded in its entirety at ShakespeareTheatre.org/Escape.

To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.


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