As You Like It

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By William Shakespeare
Directed by James Ricks

July 6th – 29th

The 20th annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival
Agecroft Hall – 4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond VA 23221

Duke Frederick has overthrown his brother, Duke Senior, who has fled to the Forest of Arden with a group of followers, including a courtier named Jaques. Orlando complains to his old servant, Adam, that Orlando’s older brother, Oliver, is depriving Orlando of his education and inheritance.

Thus must I from the smoke into the smother,
From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother

Oliver hears that Orlando plans to wrestle Charles, Duke Frederick’s champion, and incites Charles to kill Orlando in the bout. At the wrestling match, Orlando meets Rosalind, the banished Duke’s daughter, and they fall instantly in love.

Love is merely a madness; and, I tell you,
deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do;
and the reason why they are not so punish’d and cured
is that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too.

After Orlando wins the wrestling match and Duke Frederick hears that Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland, a friend of the banished Duke. Duke Frederick snubs Orlando instead of rewarding him. Rosalind, however, gives Orlando something of hers to wear. Duke Frederick banishes his niece Rosalind from court. Celia insists on accompanying Rosalind and they hatch a plan to take Touchstone the fool and seek the banished Duke in the Forest of Arden. Adam warns Orlando that Oliver plans to murder him and the two of them flee. Rosalind (disguised as a boy, “Ganymede”),
Celia (disguised as Ganymede’s sister, “Aliena”), Touchstone, Orlando, and Adam reach the Forest of Arden, where the banished Duke Senior, Jaques, and other lords as well as the Arden natives Corin, Silvius, Phebe, and Audrey are philosophizing, and falling in love.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…

All the trials and tangles work out in the end with four happy marriages.

I’ll have no husband, if you be not he.

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4305 Sulgrave Road, Richmond VA 23221