Sunday, August 07, 2011

As I Like It

A long time ago in a school district far, far away—like 15 miles--, I was in play called As You Like It by William Shakespeare. Every year volunteers from the fourth grade put on a Shakespeare play for the community. The play changes from year to year.

There weren’t many of us guys that volunteered to be in the play. If I remember right, there were only three of us guys. To audition, all of us had to read a famous monologue. I’m not sure if it really mattered as far as the guys were concerned. One named Cory got the lead named Orlando. I played his antagonist and brother, Oliver. The third guy, whose name I’ve forgotten, played a wrestler. Late in the production, we landed a fourth guy but all the roles had been cast so he played a lion that attacked tickled me to near death. My inability to control myself when someone touched my side has convinced me that I will never make it as an actor. Still, it was one of the best things I ever did in school and I still think back on it with fond memories.
Yesterday afternoon, I was reading the local news online when I saw that a group from Notre Dame was putting on a free play at a park in South Bend. When I read that it was As You Like It, I had to go. With only a few hours before it was due to start, I texted friends that I thought would dig it and managed to get my friends Stacey and Kevin to come along.

It did seem a little odd that the play was placed in the Civil War period so it seemed odd that they still retained “dukes.” Actually, one person looked to be wearing a Union uniform but with a Confederate cover. But you know, it is what it is. I suppose it could have been set in Japan. Oh wait, no, that’s been done.

I did enjoy it very much and I was surprised at how many of my lines that I could remember. Some of the supporting characters really shined with their hilarious takes like Phebe and Audrey. The guy who played Touchstone the clown was perfect for the part in my opinion. I’m gonna have to remember to keep an eye out for public plays next summer.