The Keystone Players will present Don Nigro’s rollicking comedy, The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It, Nov. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the recently renovated Theatre in Brooks on Keystone College’s campus in La Plume.
High school students and their teachers are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal and meet the cast Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., free of charge.
In this play, a small troupe of desperate actors tries to perform Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, As You Like It. Because of the loss of its stars, the troupe, which now consists of only seven actors and a stage manager, must attempt to play nearly 30 characters.
The mysterious Curate, played by Kaitlyn Schott, directs her crew of confused, fearful, and inept actors, who see her as a cross between Shakespeare and God. She alternately encourages, scolds, and threatens, determined that the show must go on, no matter what. She also plays all of the old men in Shakespeare’s play. She is aided by the Stage Manager, played by Jackie Nat, who tries valiantly to keep the cast in line.
Celia, a second-string heroine played by Sarah Langan, is convinced the production will fail, since Audrey, an inexperienced actress played by Heather Bixby, must step into the lead role of Rosalind. Audrey is forced to play Rosalind because the actress originally cast as Rosalind, played by Jila Rusavage, has inexplicably gone a little crazy. While she can still sing and offer unasked-for commentary, Rosalind is unable to say her lines. In addition to their main roles, Celia and Audrey also are forced to play assorted shepardesses and country wenches.
Likewise, since the original leading man has left the company to become a professional wrestler, William, a novice bit player played by Joshua Harris, must perform the role of Orlando. The two remaining male actors, the Clown, played by Joseph Croft, and Amiens, played by Patrick Burne, must fill in all of the remaining roles. The Clown reluctantly plays a wrestler, a sentry, and a lord, assorted trees, and of course, the famous Touchstone the jester. Amiens has it even worse. He must play the melancholy Jaques, despite the fact that he can’t remember the well known “Seven Ages of Man” speech, as well as a sentry, a shepherd, and Oliver, Orlando’s wicked brother.
“This is an extremely challenging play, since not only do the actors have to play multiple roles, but they also have had to master Shakespearean diction,” said Jane Honchell, the play’s director. “Fortunately, I am working with talented and creative actors who have embraced the insane complications their characters face with great enthusiasm.”
General admission tickets are $8; tickets for senior citizens and children under 12 are $4; and tickets for Keystone College students and faculty are $1. Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes before performances, or may be reserved in advance. To reserve tickets or attend the preview, contact Jane Honchell at [email protected]