By Peter Rao ’24
Over the past few months, under the leadership of directors Bernadette Lloyd ’23 and Danielle Summers ’23, the Thomas More College Players met regularly to rehearse Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It. Finally, after much hard work and preparation, the cast held two performances on November 19–20, 2022.
As You Like It tells the story of Rosalind and her cousin Celia, who flee to the Ardennes Forest after being banished from their court by Celia’s father, the usurping tyrant Duke Frederick. There, they hope to find Rosalind’s exiled father, Duke Senior, who has set up camp in the forest with his loyal courtiers. While traipsing through the forest, Rosalind meets her lover, Orlando, who has also fled to the forest to hide from Oliver, his murderous elder brother. Disguised as a shepherd and going by the name of Ganymede, Rosalind tricks Orlando into wooing her under the pretense of curing him of his love-sickness.
The play ends with a sweeping turn of events. Oliver repents of his crimes and joins Orlando, Rosalind reveals her true identity to Orlando and her father Duke Senior, and Duke Frederick—while en route to seize Duke Senior with his soldiers—converts and resolves to spend the rest of his life in a monastery. Elated by this news, Rosalind and Orlando, now joined by three other couples, conclude the story with their wedding and a dance.
Being a dancer and actor herself, Miss Lloyd was excited to lead a project that combined two of her interests. When asked why she chose this play in particular, Miss Lloyd stated, “I wanted to do a comedy because I wanted people to enjoy themselves. I wanted them to laugh and find relief from school or whatever work they might be doing.” Before this, Miss Lloyd had directed several skits and scenes from Shakespeare, but As You Like It was the first full-length play that she had managed. “I had been in leadership positions before,” she explained, “but this was a new type of leadership, so it was definitely a learning process.”
Miss Lloyd also noted how fruitful it was to consider the play from a director’s standpoint. “In the past, I had always read plays as an actor—focusing on my individual character. This time, I was able to step out and look at it from a larger perspective and see how characters interacted with each other within the whole.”
This year’s play posed a unique challenge, given the large size of the cast. In addition to the twenty-seven actors in the production itself, many other students volunteered to help with costumes, hair, makeup, backstage work, and lighting. Despite being a complicated and difficult project to complete during the semester, the Thomas More College Players were able to present another successful performance.
- Rosalind: Madeline Eastman ’24
- Orlando: Peter Rao ’24
- Celia: Kateri Davis ’25
- Oliver: Elias Wassell ’24
- Duke Senior, father of Rosalind: Declan Nielsen ’24
- Duke Frederick, father of Celia: Peter Shanley ’25
- Madame Le Beau: Mary Ingrid Schnake ’26
- Jacques, the Lord: Christopher Walters ’23
- Amiens: Andrew Watts ’23
- Touchstone: Alexander Tapsak ’25
- Silvius: Brady Adams ’16
- Phoebe: Sarah Carter ’26
- Charles the Wrestler: Damien Gerads ’24
- Sir Oliver Martext, a Vicar: Dominic Burkard ’26
- Adam: Adam Swift ’23
- Dennis: Peter Greninger ’24
- Corin: Benjamin Wassell ’23
- Audrey: Colette Davis ’24
- William: Nicholas Kroger ’24
- Jacques, second son of old Sir Rowland: Marie Vyleta ’25
- Minstrel Pages: Liam Beecher ’25 and Giovanna Beecher ’25
- Hymen, god of Marriage: Ethan O’Connor ’17
- First Lord: Jacinta Sigaud ’26
- Second Lord: Helen Presberg ’26
- Courtiers/Attendants: Anna Yost ’26 and Anne Metilly ’26
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