December 11, 2009

Reflections from the Cast of "As You Like It"

Read below for some insight into a few of the actor's experiences performing in Regent's recent production of As You Like It!

As You Like It was just that for me—as I liked it! The play takes place in the magical forest of Arden, a land of fun for actors and audience alike. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my thesis process. As an actor, any time you get a chance to work on Shakespeare, it is an honor and a challenge. You have to be true to the language, all the while telling the story to an audience that is not used to the heightened language. The world that Scott Hayes, our director, created proved to be a great vehicle to deliver this classic play to our audience. The set was a theatrical playground that we all could explore and create. Text messaging, ipods, and live camera work served as tools to tell the story. Being in As You Like it, being blest with the chance to speak this amazing language night in and night out, has been the highlight of my three years at Regent. To use the skills that I have acquired in my tenure here and to be able work with such a great cast has been an amazing experience.” –Rob Arbaugh, Orlando (3rd year MFA, thesis role)

“It was fun to be a part of such a technologically innovative production. For me, the process proved educational in regard to activating the potentially archaic text of Shakespeare, as well as exploring humor through action. Scott helped me explore positive choices for a character who could have potentially been frustrated throughout most of the show. The end result helped me actively pursue my scene objectives, and also, I think, proved more interesting to watch.” –Hannah Hughes, Celia (2nd year MFA student)

“My role as the fool, Touchstone, was a gift. Not only did I get crazy pants and the rich Shakespearian language to play with, but I also was allowed to discover the character's voice and physicality in a broad and zany style. In fact, thinking of how big, broad, and silly I got, I must say that my Touchstone went far further than I'd ever imagined he might when I first began researching the script and studying other performances. Yet, I feel that I found success - and a lot of joy, too - working in the boisterous freedom and expansive expression that Shakespeare affords.” -Ryan Clemens, Touchstone (3rd year MFA student)

“There are so many things that I was excited and initially nervous to approach once I found out that I was playing Rosalind. The first was the language- how to make it my own, honor it without being intimidated by it, and to see it as a gateway, not a stumbling block. Also, the physical and emotional exploration of Ganymede- Rosalind disguised as a boy- while still maintaining the awareness of Rosalind, was another aspect of the show that I started early on, walking around everywhere dressed and moving with that physicality, so that once I walked on stage I could, as Rosalind, believe it, and make Orlando believe it too. It was such a wonderful experience to be a part of, from concept to conclusion, and for my first Shakespeare show- it definitely allowed me to see that God does perform miracles in each of us- as well as hungering to perform more of the Bard of England!” -Stephanie Chandler, Rosalind (3rd year MFA student, thesis role)

1 comment:

  1. Bravo! to everyone involved in the excellent production of As You Like It - the cast, the crew, the director and the production team. I truly enjoyed all 4 performances on opening weekend - my first taste of the wonderful work that Regent Theatre is doing. Kudos, especially, to Rob, Stephanie, Hannah and Ryan!