Here are some drawings I did of a few of the characters from As You Like It
. Right now I am working with my costume, technical and set designers to get a cohesive look for the production. I have assembled an amazing team and in the next few weeks I'll be telling you more about them and posting pictures of our ideas. Here is a link to our Business Manager Tina Gilman's Look Book
for As You Like It
. You can see mine here on our website
Here are how I see the characters from these drawings:
Oliver - Orlando's older brother, has recently inherited everything from his father. Their father's favorite was always Orlando, who took after him the most, which lead Oliver to resent Orlando.
Celia - Rosalind's cousin, daughter of the man who overthrew and banished Rosalind's father. Celia has a crush on Rosalind and isn't really sure what to do about it. Then, much to Celia's frustration Rosalind falls in love with Orlando.
Rosalind - Clever, independent and playful, Rosalind does her best to deal with the strange twists and turns of fate that life throws at her. When she is banished from court she disguises herself as a man for safety's sake and then, in this disguise she meets Orlando (the man she's in love with) and he doesn't recognize her. Then Phebe falls in love with her and Rosalind suddenly has a big mess to sort out.
Orlando - A slightly clueless, popular young man who has the best of intentions but doesn't always deal with situations in the best way. He gets into a fist fight with Oliver instead of trying to figure out why Oliver is upset with him and then later he first tries to rob the Duke and his men of food instead of asking for it. Still, he means well and is a very loyal friend.
More character portraits coming up!Follow me so you don't miss a post!
Everyday I do a youtube search to see if I will find something new to inspire me. Today I searched the word "creative" and this video came up:
I immediately fell in love with the whole thing and I thought I would share it with you. It doesn't really have anything to do with the show we're working on, but perhaps we can use it as inspiration for some other show.
What do you do to find inspiration? Follow me so you don't miss a post!
We have an appointment on Tuesday to look at a space that I really like, we'll see if it works out. One of our problems in finding a space this time has been that we want a space that is larger that the one we were in for Midsummer, and there aren't that many big empty spaces in well-populated areas. If you know of an empty space that could hold 50+ audience members and still leave space for actors to run around, please, let me know.
There are a few other spaces we're considering, but I'm excited about this one on Tuesday, I'll update you on Wednesday and post photos.
To brighten your Sunday (and Sunday should be a bright day) here is one of my favorite Emma Wallace songs with fun dance numbers edited together by the clever vespersaw.
I won't be there today, but check out my radio show Sunday Standards (the best music from the 1930's - 1950's) every Sunday from noon-three (central standard time) on wonc.org. You'll be in good hands today with my co-host, Jenna.Follow me so you don't miss a post!
I found this charming rendition on of "It Was A Lover and His Lass" from As You Like It
on youtube today, and I thought it might brighten your day.
Although many composers have composed music to Shakespeare's songs, Robert Johnson
actually worked with Shakespeare towards the end of Shakespeare's career. I like to listen to his compositions because I know that Shakespeare would have heard them and probably even had input during their creation. If you want to hear what Robert Johnson's music sounds like Amazon
sells a CD and you can listen to snippets
of each song online.
Stay tuned for guest bloggers, youtube videos, and more artistic input to come!Follow me so you don't miss a post!
Today for your entertainment I have a very silly educational video about Shakespeare:
In the next week I'm going to have some guest bloggers on the site, including two women who each write great blogs of their own, Business Manager Tina Gilman and Costumer Margaret Roth. So, stay tuned!Follow me so you don't miss a post!
I'm trying to figure out what to do about music for As You Like It. In Bollywood movies there are many elaborate song and dance numbers and in As You Like It there are places where there are supposed to be songs. The original music is lost but we have the words.
Now the question is, do we use songs already in existence (do we just play them on cd or do we find a band to play them and have the actors sing?) or do we see if we can find someone to either put Shakespeare's words to music or write new songs? I would like all, or at least, most of the songs to be in English (to be more accessible and to match the play) and I'm currently looking for a choreographer to work with for the dance number.
To give you some examples of what I'm thinking of, I have posted some youtube videos:
Here is a beautiful number from the movie Devdas. The main character is trying to keep a lamp (which represents the man she's in love with) from going out. It has been burning for eight years.
"That's How You Know" from Disney's Enchanted (yes, one of my favorite movies, how did you guess?) reminds me of Bollywood every time I see it. I would like at least one big number like this in As You Like It.
I really love that Giselle (Amy Adams) is singing and bringing everyone together in this song.
This number from 500 Days of Summer is also Bollywood-esque, and more what it would be like if we were just playing a CD, but I really prefer the idea of having live music or at least actors singing along.
(Speaking of 500 Days of Summer) Maybe it is just because I'm a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers fan, but I really want a dance number sort of like this somewhere in As You Like It. Either when Rosalind and Orlando meet, or when Rosalind (disguised as a guy) is hanging out with Orlando in the woods (maybe a tango?) or when Celia and Oliver meet.
Well, let me know your thoughts! I look forward to hearing from you!Follow me so you don't miss a post!
I was surfing the web and youtube trying to get deeper insight into the character of Duke Frederick - I mean, what is up with that guy? He steals his brother's thrown, banishes his brother, keeps his niece at court for his daughter, gets jealous of said niece, banishes her, roughs up Orlando's brother, is converted and becomes a hermit. I need to find his motivation. Make that motivations.
Anyway, I came across this amazing little video - it is a sort of preview of As You Like It done to the "All The World's A Stage/Seven Ages of Man" speech. Give it a try, it is really phenomenal.
Now you want to see As You Like It
, don't you?Warning: spoiler alert, if you don't know the story of As You Like It and want to be surprised, don't read past this part.
Now, back to my Duck Frederick problem. Maybe you can help me with it?
Why does he do what he does?
What do we know about him?
Duke Frederick is younger brother to Duke Senior (great name Shakespeare ;-)
Both Dukes only have one daughter and their wives and not mentioned
"...the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke..."
In act1, scene 2 Duke Frederick is introduced to Orlando after Orlando wins a wrestling match. The Duke is disappointed when he learns who Orlando is the son of:DUKE FREDERICK I would thou hadst been son to some man else: The world esteem'd thy father honourable, But I did find him still mine enemy: Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed, Hadst thou descended from another house. But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth: I would thou hadst told me of another father.
Then Duke Frederick banishes Rosalind because "...her smoothness, Her very silence and her patience Speak to the people, and they pity her."
Rosalind, Celia (Duke Frederick's daughter) and the court jester, Touchstone, run off together to the forest of Arden where the banished Duke (Rosalind's father) lives. Orlando realizes his brother wants to kill him (about the same time) and also runs off, which makes Duke Frederick believe that they ran off together. Duke Frederick is grieved that his daughter has run away and wants her back. "Can it be possible that no man saw them?...And let not search and inquisition quail To bring again these foolish runaways."
In act 3, scene 1 Duke Frederick has Oliver (Orlando's oldest brother) brought in and interrogates him. Oliver protests:OLIVER O that your highness knew my heart in this! I never loved my brother in my life.
To which Duke Frederick replies "More villain thou."
What would make him reply that way? Does he still love the brother that he banished? Did he love him, perhaps even admire him as a boy and did something happen to turn him against his brother or did he feel that his brother shouldn't rule and so he took over his brother's dukedom?
We don't see Duke Frederick again after that. All we find out about him (in act 5, scene 4) is this:JAQUES DE BOYS Let me have audience for a word or two: I am the second son of old Sir Rowland, That bring these tidings to this fair assembly. Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day Men of great worth resorted to this forest, Address'd a mighty power; which were on foot, In his own conduct, purposely to take His brother here and put him to the sword: And to the skirts of this wild wood he came; Where meeting with an old religious man, After some question with him, was converted Both from his enterprise and from the world, His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother, And all their lands restored to them again That were with him exiled. This to be true, I do engage my life.
So, Why? Why is he so jealous of his brother? Or is it - why is he so jealous of people who are more popular than him? I will need to think on it. Is it just that his brother was always more popular than him? that Frederick was always in his brother's shadow? That his brother got most of the love, time and money from their parents and Frederick never got enough? Or is it more complex than that?
Follow me so you don't miss a post!
I am very inspired by music. Just listening to a song can change my mood completely. When I'm planning out a play I like to put together playlists to listen to as I work. So, today I thought I would share some of my favorites with you!
One of my current favorites is Emma Wallace's "Sunset and Samba
", it's beautiful and exciting. You can click on the link or find it on her blog (also one of my favorites) iamemmamusic.blogspot.com
From the amazing Bollywood film Devdas:
Another one I absolutely love (I know my Indian friends will be laughing at me now) is "No Life Without Wife" from Bride and Prejudice:
Here is another Emma Wallace song with video clips edited by vespersaw. I highly recommend all of vespersaw's youtube video's, especially if you love old movies.
I hope you enjoyed these songs! What are some of your favorites and do you have any recommendations for my As You Like It
playlist?Follow me so you don't miss a post!
I met with my creative team yesterday and we discussed the possibility of doing Hamlet.
As much as I feel called to do Hamlet, it is a big play... not just long... but, complicated. It will take me a while to think it through. As a director, I feel I need to understand plays from every angle before I can direct them. I read and re-read the script, I watch different versions of the play, I fiddle around with the story in my head, I write character analysis, I do drawings, I build 3D models. It will take me some time to think this one through.
Considering when to do Hamlet does make me realize that I should be working on setting up seasons so that we can plan ahead and our audience can anticipate our shows, perhaps we could even have subscribers (Wild thought!).
Out of my long list of possible shows for this spring, I have narrowed it down to The Tempest
or Much Ado About Nothing
. For the fall, Hamlet
, and for the spring perhaps Romeo and Juliet
or The Importance of Being Earnest
(yes, I know it's not a Shakespeare play, but I love Wilde). What are your thoughts?
Another thought that has been floating around in my head is that it might be nice to settle down and find a permanent location for Storefront Shakespeare. I like the dynamic mobility of our theater company, but it does limit the number of plays we can produce because we are forever looking for spaces to perform them in. If we had a permanent location we could still travel if we wanted to and we could do three or more productions a year and have guest directors... perhaps even more complicated sets!
Let me know your thoughts, which plays do you prefer? To settle down or not to settle down? Any more thoughts on Hamlet?Follow me so you don't miss a post!
If you are interested you can listen to my radio show from noon-three central standard time. My co-host Jenna and I play the best music from the 1930's through the 1950's on wonc.org
or FM 89.1. Leave a comment requesting a song and I'll send it out to you! Perhaps "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me Kate