Posey Directs “As You Like It” at Chattanooga State’s Humanities Theater

The Chattanoogan writes:

“The Chattanooga State Summer Theatre Festival opens its 2010 season with William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “As You Like It” on Friday. This new production inaugurates the festival’s fourth season of bringing classical theatre to Chattanooga.”

The above photo features Ginnybeth Gadd as “Rosalind” and Joey Tipton as “Orlando“.

“As You Like It” opens Friday, July 16th at 7:30pm and runs Friday and Saturday nights and Sundays at 2:30pm through August 1st.

July 24th at 6:30PM, Director Garry Lee Posey invites you to dress up in hippie dregs and attend the pre-show “Hippy Dippy Picnic Party” in the Sculpture garden down by the river at Chattanooga State.

The Art of Europe website quotes this most famous speech from “As You Like It”:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

A recent graduate from Chattanooga State’s two-year Actor Training Program, Ginnybeth Gadd tackles the character of Rosalind as well as her cross-dressing other self, Ganeymeade in Shakespeare’s”Pastoral” comedy.     Here’s a photo of Katherine Hepburn playing Rosalind.

The Black Well reference website estimates that of the 38 surviving plays attributed to Shakespeare, “one-fifth involved cross-dressing.”   This article continues:

“In seven of those plays female characters disguise themselves as young men. In three – The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night – crossdressing is central to both the complication and the resolution of the plot. The heroines also disguise themselves as men in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, and in Cymbeline, one of his latest. In The Taming of the Shrew and in The Merry Wives of Windsor male characters are disguised as women. In addition to all these crossdressed disguises, three of Shakespeare’s earliest history plays feature female characters who probably appeared in masculine battle-dress (Joan in Part I of Henry VI, Margaret in Part III, and Eleanor in King John).”

When you consider that all actors in Shakespeare’s day were male so  in order to have a Lady Macbeth or Rosalind appear onstage, a male had to dawn feminine attire and a lady-like mystique and play her.     I imagine that this led to high laughs and lots of confusion for 17th Century theater goers.

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

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One Response to “Posey Directs “As You Like It” at Chattanooga State’s Humanities Theater”

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