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.
For our second reading, we chose Shakespeare’s ill-loved comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona. We may or may not have chosen it entirely because it has a role for a dog and one of our performers just so happened to have a recent rescue who was perfect for the role. But we also took Two Gents‘ central duo as an opportunity to reunite two of our favourite performers who spent the better part of the last decade sharing the Shaw Festival stage playing friends and rivals and everything in between.
A huge thank you to the cast of As You Like It:
Proteus- Wade Bogert-O’Brien
Valentine- Ben Sanders
Silvia- Rebbekah Vega-Romero
Julia- Hilary Wirachowsky
Duke of Milan- Timothy Ng
Antonio- Vyasar Ganesan
Thurio- Steve Fisher
Lucetta/ Musician- Shalyn McFaul
Launce- Laura Darby
Crab- Ruth Bader Ginsburg-Darkowiak
Speed- Torey Urquhart
Eglamour- Melissa Wright
Panthino- Scott Garland
Host- Mark Kreder
Outlaw 1- Laura Hubbard
Outlaw 2- Hilary Wartinger
Outlaw 3- Miriam B
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and, for a little bonus content, here’s some behind the scenes footage of the cast after we finished the reading: