As You Like It

by William Shakespeare / adapted by Gavin Witt
North Park University | Fall 2016

About This Production

Gavin Witt's agile, alive adaptation of this text was alarming relevant during the turbulent fall of 2016. From the possibility of the Cubs' historic World Series win, to the evidence all through our election cycle that gender and expectations remain inextricably linked, I was grateful to have such an eager, game, and intelligent pack of collaborators with whom to explore this play. 

The play was restructured so that when we go into the forest we stay there, rather than hopping between court and forest as in the original. This gave us the opportunity to radically transform the space when we ran away to Arden. The black duvateen curtains that had encased the audience in the three-quarter thrust configuration dropped. The red court curtain fell away. A delicate snow-covered forest was revealed, and audience members on two sides were asked to move to a newly revealed seating area (their seats were about to become playing space. In a play so much about shifts of perception, working with this crack professional design team to find a way to literally change the perspective of the audience in the middle of the first act was essential. At intermission, as the play moves from winter to spring, we added green grass-like carpets and more color to the world as it continued to thaw from a place ruled by fear to one driven by love and possibility.

photos by Brandon Wardell