Tag Archives: Jackson Gay
Orlando (Leicester Landon) wrestles with Charles (Stephen Spencer) in the bar, The Orchard, which serves as the court in Chautauqua Theater Company’s production of As You Like It. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Savage’s set transforms, mimicking tone, time of CTC’s ‘As You Like It’

The trees that dapple the stage and the taxidermy that lines the walls help the 1930s-era bar dissolve into the Forest of Arden in Chautauqua Theater Company’s As You Like It.

“We wanted to create a space that had qualities of both interior and exterior. So we could — with one gesture — go from the court to the forest, but not have one disappear completely,” said set designer Lee Savage.

As You Like It, which shows at 2:15 and 8 p.m. today in Bratton Theater and runs through Aug. 17, is set in two distinct locations: a court and a forest. But the twist on the Shakespeare classic sets the entire show in the 1930s and puts the court in a bar called The Orchard.

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Celia (Molly Bernard) pretends to marry Rosalind disguised as Ganymede (Sepideh Moafi) and Orlando, (Leicester Landon) during a dress rehearsal for the Chautauqua Theater Company production of William Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It,’ directed by Jackson Gay, in Bratton Theater. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

‘As You Like It’ brings out best in fairer sex

In Shakespeare’s canon, only one woman joins the ranks of Prospero and Puck to deliver an epilogue, a fact with which Rosalind opens the play’s final speech.

As You Like It contains some of the Bard’s strongest, wittiest females, and Chautauqua Theater Company’s production, which opened Saturday night, brings out the best in the fairer sex.

The moment Rosalind (Sepideh Moafi) and Celia (a delightful Molly Bernard) take the stage — in stunning evening gowns designed by Oana Botez — they establish an engaging chemistry. The two happily navigate the play together, with an affectionate banter interrupted occasionally by the clown Touchstone (Dave Quay) who accompanies them to the Forest of Arden.

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Stephen Spencer (Charles/William) and Max Roll (Amiens) sing during a dress rehearsal for William Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by Jackson Gay, in Bratton Theater through Aug. 17. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Ellington’s custom blues and jazz paint picture of 1930s in CTC’s ‘As You Like It’

Emanating from the stage of Shakespeare’s classic As You Like It will be the melodies and tunes of 1930s blues and jazz.

Though the Bard himself wrote the lyrics to five of the six songs featured in Chautauqua Theater Company’s performance, sound designer and composer Justin Ellington custom-composed all the songs for this particular production, which the cast will perform live.

He also penned the lyrics to one of the songs written for the character Rosalind, played by operatically trained cast member Sepideh Moafi.

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Director Jackson Gay addresses the cast of Chautauqua Theater Company’s As You Like It during rehearsal Wednesday. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Conservatory actors bring past experiences to lead roles in CTC’s ‘As You Like It’

“All the World’s a Stage

And all the Men and Women merely players;

They have their Exits and their Entrances,

And one Man in his Time plays many Parts.”

The phrase uttered by Jaques in Act 2 of William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It has become legendary.

The play explores ideas of dualities, identities and love. It previews at 8 p.m. tonight and opens at 6 p.m. Saturday in Bratton Theater. As You Like It runs through Aug. 17, and features performances from all 14 conservatory actors and two guest artist actors.

The actors in the production have, as Shakespeare’s quote suggests, taken on numerous roles throughout their years studying theater. Sepideh Moafi plays As You Like It’s protagonist Rosalind, Leicester Landon plays Orlando, and York Walker plays Silvius.

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Jackson Gay, director of the CTC production As You Like It. Photo by Lauren Rock.

Adversity in ‘As You Like It’ connects to 1930s and now

Dressed in 1930s garb over their daily outfits, the cast members of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It work on two pages of text for one hour during an early blocking rehearsal. Each line of dialogue is a discussion, and each movement on the stage takes repetition to perfect.

Presiding over the rehearsal process is director Jackson Gay, who, through conversations with the actors, designers and production staff, brings As You Like It to life. The third and final Chautauqua Theater Company full production previews at 8 p.m. Friday and opens at 6 p.m. Saturday in Bratton Theater.

The show runs through Aug. 17, and behind-the-scenes details will be shared at 12:15 p.m. today in Bratton Theater at the weekly CTC Brown Bag discussion.

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Newly appointed scenic charge artist Becky Holmes does scene work for Chautauqua Theater Company’s set of As You Like It on Monday afternoon. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

CTC production staff ponders ‘As You Like It’ details

“We are cutting down trees today,” said Chautauqua Theater Company technical director Jonathan Zencheck at the final production meeting for this week’s production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

As You Like It is set both in a court and in the Forest of Arden, and the production staff — 20 or so individuals who work to produce CTC’s shows — sees the forest for the trees.

The trees Zencheck and the scenic department cut down for the set — with landowners’ permission — from streets in Chautauqua County have specific requirements. Two must be climbable, they must be of a certain height and heft, some sides must be smooth so costumes won’t rip, and the props department must be able to attach leaves to them later.

Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It previews at 8 p.m. Friday and opens at 6 p.m. Saturday in Bratton Theater and runs through Aug. 17. The twist on the classic is that As You Like It will be set in the 1930s, with a bar for a court that melds into the Forest of Arden.

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