Aquila Theatre Company Performs ‘As You Like It’ at Center for the Arts

Posted: November 18, 2009 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: November 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

c Lois Greenfield

© Lois Greenfield

The illustrious British-American touring company, Aquila Theatre Company, presents Shakespeare’s classic comedy “As You Like It” at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Friday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m.

Set in a period of revolution in France, this hilarious play tells the story of power-hungry men exiling their brothers, women portraying men and love appearing in unexpected places.

“All the world’s a stage” in this witty tale, in which Frederick has exiled his brother, Duke Senior, so he can reign over a French duchy. Simultaneously, Orlando has also been forced from town by his bloodthirsty brother, Oliver. Meanwhile, the Duke’s daughter, Rosalind, has been permitted to stay at court because she is the closest friend and cousin of Frederick’s only child, Celia.

However, Frederick becomes angry and banishes Rosalind, who disguises herself as a man and flees to the Forest of Arden with Celia and the court jester, Touchstone.. The story takes a hilarious turn when the characters encounter one another and the disguised Rosalind counsels Orlando on love — even though she is the object of his affection, and vice versa.

Shakespeare’s comic brilliance is wrapped up in gender-confused unrequited love, and Aquila infuses the play with their unique blend of fun and entertaining theatricality. This production is completely faithful to Shakespeare and yet perfectly accessible to modern audiences.

Aquila Theatre Company was founded in London in 1991 by artistic director Peter Meinick. The company has since moved to New York City and tours nationally and abroad. Past productions include “Romeo and Juliet,” “Othello,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Invisible Man,” “Agamemnon,” “A Very Naughty Greek Play” and “Catch-22.”

Aquila’s unique and ingenious staging of the classics has received prestigious international prizes and high praise from audiences, critics and scholars. Aquila recently represented the National Endowment of the Arts at the White House, performing Shakespeare for the president and first lady.

Tickets are $34, $26 and $17. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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