Fairfield University's Theatre Fairfield ends 2006-2007 season with Shakespeare's "As You Like It" - opening April 18


Fairfield University's Theatre Fairfield, the resident student theatrical company, presents its celebratory final production for the 2006-2007 season, William Shakespeare's "As You Like It," Wednesday, April 18 through Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. Performances are at the PepsiCo Theatre on the campus of Fairfield University.

"As You Like It" is acknowledged as one of Shakespeare's most well-known and loved comedies and, as such, offered a challenge to resident director and theater professional, Dr. Marti LoMonaco. "Our production is a much deeper and politically complex piece than is typical," she said recently.

At the center of the play are two young and noble women who are related - Rosalind (Jodie Pfau '07) and Celia (Elizabeth Krane '07). Their idyllic life has been disrupted because of a familial rupture that causes the cousins to flee from the safety of their home and escape to the freedom of the Forest of Arden. Touchstone (Jonathan Perez '07), the court jester and their companion, accompanies them. It soon becomes apparent to the young women that the forest is a world of free spirits and unrestraint. Lodging in this uniquely nurturing environment, the fugitives are emboldened to test their strength and courage.

Rosalind decides it is advantageous for their safety to hide herself in plain sight and adopts a new identity as Celia's boy-servant, Ganymede. This bold move brings with it a heretofore-untried freedom for Rosalind and when Ganymede encounters her lover, Orlando (Jared Mezzocchi '07), she seizes the moment to tutor Orlando in the ways of love. So persuasively passionate is her point of view, that she mesmerizes the lovesick man and wins his heart, albeit as Ganymede.

"Every character in this play, like each one of us playing a role, is searching for his or her true identity," remarked Pfau. "We are on a journey of self-discovery, disguising, hiding ourselves or pretending to be someone else," she added.

Profound self-discovery is in evidence as the melancholy character of Jaques (Tess Brown '07) delivers the famous "Seven Ages of Man" speech: "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players..."

The forest is home to several other lovesick couples, all of which embody various colors, sizes and shapes of love. Though the characters resist their matches and alternately admit that love is madness and a foolish game, each eventually finds the perfect mate.

Ten seniors lead a cast of fourteen: James DeSilvestri, Kelly Henn, Katie McLaughlin, Anna Stabile, and Carla Wiegers accompany Brown, Krane, Mezzocchi, Perez and Pfau. Rounding out the cast are Tony DaCosta ('08), Lindsey McKitterick ('09), Sarah Zybert ('09) and Gary Pelletier ('09).

In addition to Dr. LoMonaco, the outstanding professional artistic and technical staff includes, the university's new acting professor, Jon Leiseth as voice and acting coach, adjunct professor Brad Roth as choreographer and assistant professor of music Dr. Laura Nash as musical director. New York-based designers Hugh Hanson, assisted by Liz Mercadante ('09), designed costumes and Karl G. Ruling designed lighting and scenery; Colleen Kennedy ('09) stage-manages with the assistance of Katie Carroll ('09), Jessica Mercadante ('10) and Wendy Scola ('07) assisted as dramaturg.

Tickets are $12 for general admission; $6 for seniors & university staff; and $5 for students. They are now available online at www.quickcenter.com or call the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Visit the website at www.quickcenter.com for further information.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 26, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 191