Tuesday, April 7, 2009

UIS Theatre’s 2008-2009 season concludes with Shakespeare’s "As You Like It"

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will conclude its 2008-2009 season with the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, opening Friday, April 17. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS - on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 17, 18, and 19, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 23, 24, and 25. All shows will begin at 8 p.m. except the Sunday performance (April 19), which will begin at 2 p.m.

As You Like It is set in France, where Duke Senior and his followers are hiding in the Forest of Arden after Duke Senior is usurped and exiled by his brother, Duke Frederick. Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, is permitted to stay at court because she and Frederick’s daughter are close. But when Rosalind falls in love at first sight with young Orlando, and after Orlando is forced to flee persecution by his older brother, Rosalind and Celia flee to the Forest of Arden, and Rosalind disguises herself as a man.

As is common in many of Shakespeare’s plays, confusion and mistaken identity ensue, lovers pine for each other, and Duke Senior and his followers search for meaning while in hiding in the Forest of Arden.

Characters in the play include Duke Frederick; Duke Senior; Rosalind, daughter to Duke Senior; Celia, daughter to Duke Frederick and Rosalind’s cousin; Orlando, youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; Oliver and Jacques, his brothers; Adam and Dennis, servants to Orlando and Oliver respectively; Touchstone, a court Fool; Charles and Le Beau, part of Duke Frederick’s court; and Jacques and Amiens, lords attending to Duke Senior. Other characters are Corin and Silvius, shepherds; Phoebe, a shepherdess; Audrey, a goatkeeper; William, who is in love with Audrey; and Sir Oliver Martext, a parish priest.

Eighteen actors are playing 23 roles in the production. The cast is Dwight Langford* (Orlando); Ben Beams* (Oliver); Matt Craven* (Jacques the brother/Dennis); Patrick O’Brien (servant/Sir Oliver Martext); Aasne Vigesaa (Rosalind); Ashley Warren* (Celia); Joey Cruse* (Touchstone); Kevin Purcell (Duke Frederick/Corin); Larry Smith (Charles/William); Karina Diaz* (Le Beau); Kevin Cline (a lord); Tom Hutchinson (Duke Senior); Ted Keylon (Jacques the lord); Nick Teeter* (Amiens); Nicole Butts (a lord); Roger Boyd* (Silvius); and Sarah Clinch* (Phoebe).* denotes a UIS student.

UIS Associate Professor and Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

Tickets – $12 general adult; $10 senior citizen, 65+ with photo ID; $8 UIS faculty/staff with current I-card; $6 all students with current school ID – are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.uis.edu/theatre. Tickets will also be available at the ticket office on the day of the performance, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

For more information, contact Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-6613.