Brushwood Center announces the return of Shakespeare Outdoors, July 23-26, 7pm, with the Bard’s As You Like It, performed by Citadel Theatre. This popular summertime event in Riverwoods, will be performed in Ryerson Woods, near Deerfield. “Our mission is to connect people to nature through the arts and environmental programs,” said John Barrett, Executive Director of Brushwood Center. He continued, “Shakespeare Outdoors is a chance for us to connect the community to nature in a unique way.”
Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a favorite of audiences everywhere. Recognized as his pastoral comedy, it is perhaps known as much for the famed soliloquy “All the World’s a Stage” or “The Seven Ages of Man” as for its storyline. In the play, a duke’s court is usurped by his brother and he and his followers flee to the nearby forest. There, his supporters; including his jester, other courtiers, his daughter Rosalind and her friends, camp out among the country folk and make do with their banishment. In hiding, Rosalind has adopted the visage of a young man, and a new name – Ganymede – and this new appearance leads to a comedy of mistaken identities as a country girl falls for her. “The show has a little bit of everything: comedy, love and romance, mistaken identity, and even chase scenes. It will be fun to watch,” said Scott Phelps, artistic director of the Citadel Theatre.
The most musical of Shakespeare’s plays, As You Like It features a number of songs which highlight the pastoral atmosphere and the changing of the seasons. As You Like It is directed by Frank Farrell. Farrell performed as an actor in Goodman Theatre’s As You Like It years ago; and directed Citadel’s outdoor A Midsummer Night’s Dream last summer.
Sitting outside and listening to Shakespeare’s words in a wooded setting harkens to the early days of theater. Phelps said his performers are really looking forward to returning to Brushwood. “They love the intimate connection they can make with the audience,” he said. Last year was their first year at Brushwood and it was so successful that they are added a fourth performance this year.
As You Like It is a 90-minute performance including guitar, violin and vocals. Barrett suggests arriving early for a hike on one of the many trails of Ryerson Woods or to take a tour of Brushwood Center to view the art gallery before finding a spot of the lawn.
Tickets are available for all four shows which begin at 7 p.m., July 23-26. Tickets: $15 or $10 for Brushwood members. Register at: www.BrushwoodCenter.Org or call 847-968-3344.