These are crazy times and we’ve all taken on a bunch of new projects as we socially isolate in order to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
We’re donating where we can, we’re cleaning the pantry, we’re organizing the 2300+ title dvd library. We’re still working on the Nominee Interview Series even though the live event for our yearly Critics’ Pick Awards had to be cancelled (we’ve still got winners to announce and, eventually, trophies to give out). We started the Corona Movie Club to help curb our boredom and constant need to talk about movies with other human beings. I’m even watching network procedurals and actually writing about them.
But what we all really need is comfort. We need our favourite things and our favourite people and right now those are hard to come by so we have to do everything we can to bring them together whenever possible. For me, there’s nothing quite so comforting and joyful as Shakespeare. Luckily, I know a lot of people who also love Shakespeare- a few old friends from my alma mater’s Shakespeare Society and a few of my favourite Toronto theatre artists, all of whom just so happen to be talented and generous and responsibly socially isolated enough to want to join a nearly 3-hour 19-person Zoom call for the purposes of livestreaming Shakespeare on YouTube.
We started with As You Like It, purportedly because it has a big ensemble cast and a light, distracting tone but really just because it’s my favourite. I had a ball casting some of my favourite performers in my favourite roles and creating unique pairings of players from across North America who’ve never met one another.
Being new to this apocalyptic isolation thing, it took me a few minutes to sort out the technology so the YouTube livestreamed video has about 13 minutes of greetings, logistics, and chatter before we get going on the reading and the audio version available in our podcast feed starts mid-way through Orlando’s opening monologue, but you get the gist. The reading was a blast and planning’s already underway for the next one so check out As You Like It in audio and video form below (or on iTunes or YouTube) then tune into our YouTube page at 7pm on Saturday, March 28th for Two Gentlemen of Verona Live.
A huge thank you to the cast of As You Like It:
Rosalind- Anne van Leeuwen
Celia- Katherine Gauthier
Orlando- Ben Sanders
Oliver- Mo Kamaly
Touchstone- Cass Van Wyck
Jaques- Shalyn McFaul
Phebe- Morgan Ford
Silvius- Scott Garland
Audrey- Rachael Nisenkier
Duke Senior- Will King
Duke Frederick- Laura Darby
Adam – Mark Kreder
Corin – Steve Vargo
LeBeau/Frederick’s Lord 1/Jaques de Boys – Laura Hubbard
Dennis/William- Sean Link
Charles/Sir Oliver Martext/Hymen- Elizabeth Ramirez
Frederick’s Lord 2- Melissa Wright
Amiens & Forest Lords/Pages- Gaby Grice, James King