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Curbside theater comes to Belfast

Apr 23, 2021
From left are Patricia Saucier, Ken Kornfield, Phoebe Norman, Tom Crutcher and Mark Durbin.

Belfast — The Belfast Maskers are reconstructing 2020's production of 
William Shakespeare's comedy "As You Like It" to be performed May 20 through 23. This telling of the tale is set
 in a late '60s/early '70s of the mind; featuring costumes, props and
 scenery right out of that era. The language, however, is Shakespeare's
 original tale of discovery, transformation, and, above all, the power of
 love.

The gender-changing Rosalind (Autumn Stupca) is the largest female role 
in Shakespeare’s body of work, arguably its only female leading role. 
Against a backdrop of the sexual revolution and the "second wave" of
 feminism, she hits the road with her cohorts to escape the establishment 
and go "back to the land" in the Forest of Arden. Hunky Orlando (Dakota
 Wing), faced with his own hazards, tunes in, turns on, and drops out to 
follow her "back to the land".

Also reprising their roles are Tom Crutcher (Jaques), Tyler Johnstone 
(Touchstone, a fool), Erin Hayes (Celia), Tucker Atwood (Oliver), Tom
 Maycock (Adam), Danielle Bannister (Frederica, the usurping Duchess),
 André Blanchard (Charles the wrestler and William), Mark Durbin (Duke 
Senior), Ken Kornfield (Le Beau, Second Brother), Riley Walauski
 (Silvius), Phoebe Norman (Lord Amiens), Scott Taylor (Corin the shepherd
 and Hymen), Azure Walauski (Audrey), Melora Norman, and Patricia Saucier
 (Forest Lords), and director Erik Perkins (Sir Oliver Martext). Stepping 
into the role of the disdainful shepherdess (Phoebe) is Mirabelle Kutsy-Durbin, a well-known Maskers’ favorite.

Jared Nickerson will adapt his lighting design to the new outdoor venue 
and Cassidy Small returns as stage manager. Angela Bonacasa was the 
fight director for the production and will oversee its modification to 
the new space. Belfast Maskers Artistic Director Meg Nickerson returns
 as producer.

"We're really excited to open the 2021 season with this great production that had to be put on hold last year," said Nickerson. “Although we had to close the 2020 production after only two performances due to COVID, the audiences gave rave reviews of this innovative Shakespeare classic.”

"As You Like It" is sometimes called Shakespeare's "musical" because of 
the number of songs appearing in the text. Original music for these songs was written by Tom Crutcher, who plays Jaques, and performed by Lord Amiens (Phoebe Norman) and the band of hippies (Ken Kornfeld, Mike Nickerson and Tom Maycock). A sonic 
landscape of underscoring and scene transitions was put together by Sound Designer Jay Rosenberg using gorgeous folk and rock from the time
 period. The groovy costuming of the cast was done by the dynamic duo of Sandy 
Hall and Linda Marie. Hair and makeup are overseen by long-time Belfast
 Masker Diane Coller-Wilson.

The 2021 performances will take place “al fresco” on the front lawn of the Basil Burwell Community Theater, 17 Court St. Shows are Thursday, May 20, through Sunday, May 23, at 7 p.m. Attendees will be seated in the closed-off street in front of the theater and are advised to bring their own chairs. Audience members are asked to maintain a six-foot distance from others with whom they did not arrive and to kindly wear a mask when not seated. Tickets are available now, online only, at belfastmaskers.com/events.

"As You Like It" is sponsored by First National Bank.

 

 

 

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