The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier manages to combine an extravagant and lavish, while at the same time still very intimate, theatre setting with professional acting performances in every production shown. However, the production of As You Like on March 5, 2011 perhaps best exemplifies these significant qualities crucial to Shakespeare plays. Directed by, Gary Griffin, the production is able to captivate the entire audience for the complete duration of the play through its brilliant illustration of spectacle as well as strong narration. However, the most significant factor of the production would undeniably be its inclusion of an alliance of narrative, dramatic, and spectacle elements all intertwined in the overall production. Griffin depicts a traditional Shakespearean comedy with the use of vivid set design and perfect actor selection in the production of As You Like It in a way that separates the comedic production from any other previous Shakespeare play I have seen. The production does so by being able to masterfully combine Shakespearean comedic elements with deeper connotations about self-identity and the power of love crucial to all productions of As You Like It. The thematic elements prevalent throughout the production are contemporary in regards to all Shakespearean comedies in that the play revolves around mistaken identity, the many forms of love, and the resolutions of all misunderstandings in the end of the play. However, the way in which Griffin’s overall production is able to enthrall the audience through brilliant acting, audience inclusion, and beautiful theatre design in such a way that the audience isn’t forced to exert much personal imagination makes As You Like It a classic example of an ideal Shakespearean production.
The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the producing theatre for director Gary Griffin’s adaptation of As You Like It, is a professional theatre venue and company located on 800... [continues]
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