The performance will be streamed over Facebook at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and is open to the public
NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Acting Program, in collaboration with Design for Stage & Film, will show their Zoom production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, to be streamed on Facebook Live at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on May 6. The third-year student production was originally scheduled to be performed at the Atlas Theater, but with the shift to remote instruction prompted by the global coronavirus pandemic, faculty and students experimented with a number of innovative multimedia solutions to adapt the performance to an all-virtual format.
The performances are open to the public and will be accessible on NYU Grad Acting’s Facebook page. Audience members do not need a Facebook account to watch the stream.
As You Like It was written by William Shakespeare. Sanaz Ghajar directs. The cast is made up of third year Graduate Acting students Amaia Arana, Olamide Candide-Johnson, Raquel Chavez, Joshua Echebiri, Sydney Elisabeth, Jarvis D. Matthews, Jay Myers, Jacob Orr, Ronald Prokeš, Britian Seibert, Joey Shaw, Sarin Monae West, Trent Williams, and Aleah Zimmer. The stage manager is Helen Irene Muller, prop supervisor and virtual backgrounds is Ellie Bye, video editing is by Aaron Minerbrook, sound designer is Emma Hasselbach, and Zoom and digital curator is Tim Cryan. The Atlas Room team consists of scenic designer Marisa Kaugars, costume designer Miriam Waldenspuhl, lighting designer Tyler Dubuc, fight director Steve White, and vocal coach Liam Joynt.
With the show no longer being performed in-person, the story has been disassembled and reprogrammed to enlarge notions of what live performance and theater can be in this era of social distancing, in addition to speaking to the current situation. The student cast and production designers incorporated multimedia elements, employed virtual settings and backgrounds, and experimented with character perspectives to maintain the temporal nature of live performance—with actors performing in more than a dozen disparate locations across the country—and expressive storytelling within a new virtual medium.
“Art is the job and theater is but one medium. This process offered an exciting opportunity to establish a new framework and definition of live performance and time-based work for the 21st century. It’s as good a time as any to explode boundaries, enlarge notions of artistic practice, and encourage new forms," said director Sanaz Ghajar.
“By staying curious, we found new ways to communicate the story and tap into the impulse that drove theater and performance to begin with. Experimentation is what theater artists do,” she continued.
A favorite among audiences and screen and stage actors alike, Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a pastoral comedy concerned with the triumph of love over the threat of death. Love as the central theme manifests in myriad ways, yet the play subverts the traditional rules of romance and gender roles. As You Like It follows the story of Rosaline, a heroine fleeing persecution, who escapes from her usurper uncle in France to the Forest of Arden before becoming entangled in a series of complicated love affairs. Ultimately, the comedy explores the delights of love and life—themes that are particularly resonant for theater in our current moment.
About the NYU Tisch School of the Arts
For over 50 years, the NYU Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast artistic and cultural resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for artists, scholars, and innovators. Today, students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a premier global university with campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and 11 academic centers around the world. Learn more at www.tisch.nyu.edu.