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A world of passionate possibility in the Forest of Arden

Thursday, 28 September 2017

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Heroes. Villains. Wrestling. Cross dressing. And love at first sight. As You Like It is one of William Shakespeare’s most charming and beloved romantic comedies, where chance encounters blossom into the entanglement of love.

"As You Like It is a play about love and its many manifestations,” says award-winning director, actor, dramaturg and acting teacher Melanie Beddie, who is in Perth to direct the 2nd Year Acting students as part of the WAAPA Visiting Artists Program, proudly supported by the Minderoo Foundation. “As we all know, the course of love does not always go smoothly and therein lies the humour of the play.”

The Melbourne-based director believes that in order to make sense of Shakespeare’s magical Forest of Arden, the society outside it must severely limit the choices of the two female protagonists.

“So I have worked with the student designer to create a formal and strict Victorian era environment from which Rosalind and Celia can escape,” says Beddie.

“When they arrive in the Forest of Arden, they enter a world filled with possibilities,” she explains. “Arden is place where all the characters can experiment with who they want to be. Gender and love and status is more fluid in the Forest than elsewhere. The design reflects this through embracing a kind of Steampunk aesthetic in which items and clothes are reused and repurposed and reimagined to create new ways of thinking and behaving.”

As You Like It, directed by Melanie Beddie andperformed by WAAPA’s 2nd Year Acting students, will run from Friday, 13 to Thursday, 19 October in the Enright Studio at Edith Cowan University in Mount Lawley.

Over the course of her 30-year-career, Beddie has directed and dramaturged theatre productions for companies such as Melbourne Theatre Company, Playbox, Hothouse, La Mama, Playworks and Hit Productions, as well as for smaller independent companies and drama schools. She was dramaturg at the MTC from 1998-2000 and was Lecturer in Acting at the Victorian College of the Arts from 2010-2016. Beddie has also worked nationally as an actor in film and TV, and for a wide range of professional theatre companies. She is the recipient of a Green Room Award and a Director’s Choice Award

Beddie describes As You Like It as a play filled with energy, fun and wisdom. “It is a refreshing imaginary world to inhabit during rehearsal and a lot of fun to play to an audience.”

Join WAAPA’s 2nd Year Acting students as they perform this delightfully entertaining play that combines romance and laughter in a world of passionate possibility.

For all venue and performance details, please visit the As You Like It performance web page.

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