As I Like It

"And therefore sit you down in gentleness 
And take upon command what help we have
That to your wanting may be minister'd."

As You Like It

 

Almost 25 years ago, I adapted and directed a production of William Shakespeare's As You Like It at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. It became one of my most fulfilling and enjoyable theater experiences. Thank you to ASGT and the wonderful and talented cast, crew, and production staff who joined this journey to the forest of Arden.

I recently came across my notes for the script. It brought back so many great memories that I decided to publish this adaptation. 

As You Like It is in the public domain of course. This adaptation, set entirely in the forest of Arden and compressed from five acts to two, may be presented on the stage royalty-free (including the set design, prologue, and stage directions).

 

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The Uses of Adversity

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"Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,

Hath not old custom made this life more sweet

Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods

More free from peril than the envious court?

Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,

The seasons' difference, as the icy fang

And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,

Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,

Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say

'This is no flattery: these are counsellors

That feelingly persuade me what I am.'

Sweet are the uses of adversity,

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;

And this our life exempt from public haunt

Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones and good in every thing.

I would not change it."

 

William Shakespeare

As You Like It

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Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare

There once was a playwright named Will

Whose spelling was practically Nil.

Whether Shaksper or Shakspere

Or Shakspe or Shakespeare,

Sweet Will paid his bill with a Quill.

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Learning to Paddle

In Antony and Cleopatra, as they confront the army of Antony and Octavian, Brutus says to Cassius:

 

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
 
I was thinking tonight that I seem to have missed the tide in my affairs (if there was one), and now  I need to learn to paddle.
 
Then it occurred to me that the tide and paddling could describe what has become my writing process. There is the tide in which things pour out onto the page, glorious and messy and all over the place. Then there is the paddling, stroke by stroke, where I figure out where I am going and once in a long while actually get there.
 
Brutus was defeated by Antony at the battle of Philippi. So maybe there is something to be said for paddling. 
 
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This is so disappointing. The summer seems to be abnormally short these days, at least it does in th...
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Very generous! Thanks for posting. :
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Thanks Ken. It was finally released last week! ?