The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival announces the dates and cast for Free Shakespeare in the Park performances of As You Like It: a new musical. This year, the Festival will present an original musical featuring nine songs by The Kilbanes. The duo of Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses are a Bay Area favorite acclaimed for powerful story-telling indie rock. An additional two songs are provided by Festival Resident Artist, Phil Wong. Music direction is by Brenden Getzell, who also plays multiple instruments in the production.
As You Like It, free Shakespeare in the Park will be presented by San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:00 pm June 29–July 14. The performances will take place in the Amador Valley Community Park, Santa Rita & Black Avenue, Pleasanton
“While developing this new musical version of As You Like It,” explains Ennals, “we asked ourselves and our community, ‘What does the Court represent? What does it mean to go into the Forest? What does it mean to be exiled, now and in the near future?’ and most importantly ‘What does it feel like to experience love – this feeling that all human beings, no matter their circumstances, seem to have in common?’ We are enormously grateful to our neighbors experiencing homelessness who have shared with us, in workshops and in rehearsals, their own humanity and their own stories.”
This comedy is about the love between Rosalind and Orlando, young lovers who meet in the corrupt Court of Duke Frederick. To avoid unjust political persecution, both must flee separately into exile before they have a chance to explore their budding relationship. They cross paths once again in the Forest of Arden, but this time Rosalind is disguised as a boy named Ganymede, and Orlando is unable to see through her disguise! Will Rosalind-as-Ganymede find a way to reunite Rosalind and Orlando? Come to Free Shakespeare in the Park to find out the fate of these lovers in exile.
Directed by Artistic Director Rebecca J. Ennals, the play will feature Regina Morones as Rosalind, Michael Barrett Austin* as Orlando, Anne Yumi Kobori as Celia, Norman Gee* as Adam/Touchstone, Maryssa Wanlass* as Jaques/Lady, Rondrell McCormick* as Oliver/Corin, Dave Sikula as Duke Frederick/Duke Senior, Akaina Ghosh as Dennis/Silvius, Gwen Loeb* as Le Beau/Audrey, Andrea J. Love* as Charles/Phebe, performance interns Skylar Adams, Griffin O’Connor, Peter Stielstra, and Danielle Ferrer as ensemble, and Adam Thompson as bassist. Will Shattuc is the show’s Assistant Director. The production features costume design by Susan Szegda, set design by Neal Ormond, fight choreography by Sydney Schwindt, and lighting design by John Bernard. The cast includes returning favorites from past Shakespeare in the Park productions, including Festival Resident Artists (Ghosh, Kobori, Morones, and Wanlass) and talented newcomers to the company.
*denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association