“As You Like It” will be presented
at the outdoor amphitheater behind the Winters Community Center
on Fridays and Saturdays, August 9, 10, 16 and 17,
at 8:00 PM.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or here.
Admission is $5.00, with children under 12 free, when accompanied by an adult.
Refreshments will be available.
Bring a lawn chair, a blanket and a picnic dinner to enjoy while watching Shakespeare under the stars.
Much of the plot of “As You Like It,” the Winters Theatre Company’s current selection for its annual Shakespeare in the Park production, was not the original work of the bard. Shakespeare took a mid-sixteenth century “best seller,” titled “Rosalynde” by Thomas Lodge and turned it into a charming pastoral play.
Borrowing plots was not unusual for Shakespeare. He used many sources for his plays including Roman history, English history, folk tales, epic poems and classical legends. These provided the frame work which he turned into works of genius by adding characters and situations, deleting some scenes and adding others, and especially providing his characters (and his audiences) with beautiful poetic dialogue.
Among the changes Shakespeare made to Lodge’s “Rosalynde” were increasing the number of romantic couples from three to four and introducing two of the play’s most famous characters, Touchstone, the court jester, and Jacques, the melancholy philosopher, into the plot. These two courtiers were not found in the original story, but Shakespeare gives them some of the most famous lines in the play.
The bard’s popular version also presents his heroine, Rosalind, as a sparkling, witty young woman who not only triumphs over personal disaster and “gets her man,” Orlando, but helps several other couples to the altar.
In rewriting Lodge’s version of the story, Shakespeare concentrated on the happy ending by deleting the revenge scenes and rehabilitating the villains. Two nasty brothers learn the error of their ways, a usurped dukedom is restored to its rightful ruler, good triumphs over evil, and all is well in the Forest of Arden.