2014 Rep 21 Announcement
Rep 21 presents "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare and directed by Rod Carley.
Four nights only in North Bay and Toronto!
July 16th - 19th at 7:30 pm
Capitol Centre, North Bay
July 23rd - 26th at 7:30 pm
Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto
Admission: Financial donations in support of the gathering place.
May contain mature content. Viewer discretion is advised.
Artistic Director’s Message
REP 21 – New Voices for the 21st Century
“O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful...”
Rep 21 is back for our eighth season, and we’re ready to add some Shakespearean sizzle to your summer. This season also marks a new partnership with The Capitol Centre, with the presentation of a Canadian-contextualized As You Like It on their stage.
As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the “court jester”, to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden.
Like other romantic comedies of Shakespeare, love is the play’s central theme, love manifested in its varied forms. In many of the play’s love stories, love comes at first sight: Rosalind and Orlando, Celia and Oliver, as well as Phebe and Ganymede. Audrey and Touchstone are the parody of romantic love.
Most of the play is a celebration of life in the country. The inhabitants of Duke Frederick's court suffer the perils of arbitrary injustice and even threats of death; the courtiers who followed his sister, the duchess, into forced exile in the forest are, by contrast, experiencing liberty (at the expense of winter’s discomfort).
In seeking to shorten the gap between the world of As You Like It and ours, the story is being given an ambience from a period that is sufficiently dated to be older and stranger than our own, yet near enough to our sense of history and clear enough for a contextual analogy.
The setting is a colonial aping of the British “court” in pre-confederation Lower Canada, shortly after the Rebellion of 1837 when French patriots were defeated by the British colonial power of Lower Canada (modern-day Quebec). By the beginning of 1838 Lower Canada was no longer a colony governed by British law; it was enemy territory occupied by a military force. From the moment the smoke cleared, it was open season on patriots: anyone could be arrested and imprisoned, their property seized or destroyed, with no trace of formalities, due process, or appeal. Under these conditions, the characters in As You Like it have very real Lower Canada counterparts.
The Rebellion of Lower Canada, taken along with the Upper Canadian Rebellion, is often compared to what might have happened to the United States of America if the Revolutionary War had failed. In Quebec, the Rebellion has become a symbol for the contemporary Quebec independence movement.
I am adapting, directing, and designing, and am thrilled that the production features an original music score by Jim Harney, musical direction by Tracey Berti, choreography by Jennifer Ritchie, costume design by Peggy Montgomery-Haskins, and lighting design by Michael Glussich.
The theatre experience at Canadore continues to be a sharing, not simply of a specific skill or acting course, but more specifically, of a way of life – a communal commitment among the students and the professional artists who so generously share their knowledge and expertise, not only by teaching, but also by directing and acting alongside the graduates on stage with Rep 21.
Again this season, instead of charging admission we will be accepting financial donations in support of The Gathering Place.
See you this summer,
Artistic Director, REP 21
Coordinator, Canadore College Theatre Arts Program