By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer
On the weekend of Nov. 11-13, Swarthmore College’s Department of Theater and Production Ensemble 2016 presented “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, directed by Alex Torra. The production included three Bryn Mawr College students as actors (Catherine Campo ’19 as Orlando, Margot Wisel ’18 as Jacques, and Emma Wells ’17 as Celia) and a Haverford College student as Assistant Scenic Designer (Yoshi Nomura ’17). The production was done in original pronunciation, which seemed to be a mix of Irish, Scottish, Northern, and Cockney accents. However, the actors in this production used a version that was less thick than the original pronunciation done at the Globe Theatre.
The set was quite lovely and included a variety of trees that were moved around to display the different settings. The palace in a scene before the characters Celia and Rosalind run away was shown with a bunch of little plants in elaborate flower pots to represent a garden, which were removed to show the transition to the forest of Arden. The main set, however, stayed mostly the same – only taking a few items on and off stage to change the scene in small ways. Things like hay bales, two sawhorses and a piece of wood, and a wheelbarrow were among these props that were essential to their respective sets. The costuming was also quite good – the favorite aspect of many was the sheep hats, made by Elizabeth Berumen-Gonzalez ’19, that were used by a few actors to present sheep during conversations between Silvius and Corin.
Additionally, the play had quite a lot of double casting. The characters of Adam and Silvius, Amiens and Audrey, Le Beau, Phebe, First Lord, and Forester, Corin, Sir Oliver Martext, Second Lord, and Forester, Charles, William, Jacques de Bois, and Forester, and Duke Senior and Duke Frederick were all double casted. The actor who played Duke Senior and Duke Frederick (Kendall Byrd ’17) was especially impressive due to the sheer amount of work that was needed for each role.
Overall, the play was wonderful and the audience loved the performance. A few people mentioned that the original vernacular was much easier to understand then they had thought it would be. All of the actors were spectacular and the production team did a wonderful job on the performance.