Theater Review: As You Like It

Grace Davidson, Contributing Writer

As William Shakespeare once wrote, “All the World’s a stage.” Glenbard West students certainly took this concept to the next level in their beautifully performed, set and directed spring comedy, As You Like It, originally written by William Shakespeare.

In the humorous, complicated, yet enticing plot of “As You Like It”, Orlando, played by Ryan Coleman, defeats the Duke’s wrestler in a violent match. It just so happens that the niece of the Duke, Rosalind, portrayed by Elly Blevins, is a spectator, and she immediately falls in love with the victorious Orlando.

Orlando soon falls in love with her as well, yet Rosalind’s uncle unexpectedly banishes her from the court, provoking Rosalind and her cousin, Celia, played by Sarah Kitslaar, to venture out into the forest of Arden to find Rosalind’s father.

Of course, this had to be done in disguise, and Rosalind transformed her appearance into a gentleman named Ganymede, accompanied by his sister, Aliena. Orlando and his servant, Adam, acted by Colin Griffin, also head out to the forest, and are taken in by a traveling group of outlawed courtiers and huntsmen, including Rosalind’s father, the Duke of Senior. The rest of the story then consists of love letters, shepherd encounters, lovely forest music, and complicated love triangles.

It is no secret that any Shakespeare play is difficult to pull off, especially for an audience full of teenagers. The memorization is hours and hours of countless confusing Shakespearean expressions, as well as days spent trying decipher the foreign language of old English.

According to student director Jack Colombo, “what was most difficult for me [in directing the play] was that it was filled with unexpected metaphors, complicated phrases, and it is just downright hard to understand. Early on, we had to sit down with the actors and figure out what each and every line meant.”

Yet despite the difficulty, a high school production consisting of young, and even new, actors, directors, and crew members phenomenally displayed an authentic presentation of Shakespeare’s classic plot line while simultaneously providing infinite opportunity for laughter, awe and tears.

Glenbard West’s remarkable success in being able to make old English hysterically entertaining to an audience of high school students truly displays the theatre program’s glorious talent to take a classic, understand it, and bring it to its full potential.

The superb adaptation of the Shakespeare classic is greatly due to both the program’s hard work and creative additions.

“My personal favorite part of the show was the fact that we could implement music. The Lords and Ladies of the forest decided to look for sheet music on their own, and bring their own instruments. Their extra work added a very dynamic element to the show,” Jack Colombo tells us.

A unique aspect of this show was that the cast and directors were able to integrate their own humour and personality into it, as well as their talent and creativity in terms of music, earning the ears and hearts of all audience members. Caitlin Palmisano, a student director along with Jack, tells us “[her] favorite part about the experience had to be watching the whole process of a show come together from a director’s perspective […] And seeing them perform beautifully onstage after months of work was the most fulfilling reward.”

Clearly, the show consisted of everyone’s ultimate devotion and dedication beyond what was asked of them, as well as a pair of great leaders directing and fine tuning the show to its superb outcome. Thus, Shakespeare’s philosophy was fulfilled, as this crew took the humble provisions of Glenbard West’s auditorium and turned them into something truly spectacular. Glenbard West Theatre, we applaud you!