Magic in the Forest: Actors’NET of Bucks County’s AS YOU LIKE IT

by Robert Beizer

Chris Capitolo, Cat Miller, Allison Deratzian and Dylan Ruggiero in a scene from AS YOU LIKE IT, running at Actors'NET of Bucks County through May 13.

The Forest of Arden is a magical place full of strange landscapes and animals. It also provides the backdrop for one of William Shakespeare’s most often produced plays.

Into this forest we find a banished Duke Senior (John G. Woldzko) with his entourage which includes Jacques (George Hartpence), Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind (Cat Miller) – dressed as a man accompanied by Celia (Liane Golightly), the daughter of the brother who banished the Duke and the court jester Touchstone (Aaron Wexler). Also, in the forest is Orlando (Chris Capitolo) the banished, (by his older brother Oliver (DeLarme Landes)), youngest son of a nobleman with his servant Adam (Marco Newton).

Already in the forest are Phebe, a shepherdess (Allison Deratzian); Silvius, a shepherd (Dylan Ruggiero); Audrey, a country wench (Margaret Deangelis); Corin, an elderly shepherd (Joe Doyle); William, a country man (John Wishnie) and Sir Oliver Martext, a vicar (Stuart Myles).

The story of the play involves the magic which occurs in the forest resolving the confusions of identity which happen when Rosalind and Celia in their disguises decide to hide in the Forest of Arden. Rosalind, now dressed as a man becomes teacher of romance to Orlando with whom she has fallen in love with. Phebe, loved by Silvius, falls in love with Rosalind – dressed as Ganymede and Touchstone falls in love with Audrey. Oliver goes into the forest to find his brother and is saved from a lion attack by Orlando and he changes his mind about his brother. Oliver falls instantly in love with Celia (dressed as Aliana). Frederick who usurped Duke Senior also has a change of heart and restores his brother to the Dukedom.

Finally, Silvius, Phebe, Ganymede, and Orlando are brought together in an argument with each other over who will get whom. Ganymede says he will solve the problem, having Orlando promise to marry Rosalind, and Phebe promise to marry Silvius if she cannot marry Ganymede.

The fun in the play is finding out how the mistaken identities are revealed and the way in which the forest setting helps to bring peace and order to the court.

"All the world's a stage...": Foreground right: George Hartpence. Background: L to R, John Wishnie, James Cordingley, John Wolodzko, Chris Capitolo, Marco Newton.

I felt that the second act of the play as performed by ActorsNET seemed to be the more engaging of the two. The cast seemed to have more fun and focus than they did in the first act.

Fine performances were created by Cat Miller, Aaron Wexler, Joe Doyle and all of the characters living in the forest. Notable in the Duke’s court was George Hartpence whose character Jacques has the famous “All The World’s A Stage” speech.

Set Design, Costumes and Sound by Cheryl Dolye. Lighting by Andrena Wishnie.

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Cheryl Doyle
4/20 – 5/13/2012
The Actors’ NET of Bucks County
635 N. Delmorr Ave (Route 32)
Morrisville, PA 19067
Tickets: 215-295-3694

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