Cast Announced For Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s AS YOU LIKE IT
Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces the cast and creative team for its upcoming production of As You Like It, presented April 30–June 21, 2020 in the Courtyard Theater. This vibrant, ‘60s-inspired adaptation infuses Shakespeare’s romantic comedy with the hit songs of The Beatles—lifting the playwright’s timeless verse in beautiful harmony with the immortal music of the “Fab Four.” Adapted and directed by Daryl Cloran, the Artistic Director of Canada’s acclaimed Citadel Theatre, As You Like It features Jennifer Latimore, Liam Quealy, Cher Álvarez, Juan Chioran, Kevin Gudahl, Kayvon Khoshkam, Tony Carter, Michael Mahler, Heidi Kettenring, Adam Wesley Brown, Austin Eckert, Kieran McCabe, Steven Pringle, and Bri Sudia in a celebration of love—seamlessly weaving in more than 20 songs, performed live, including “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Let It Be,” and “Here Comes the Sun.”
It’s the 1960s, when all you need is love. Free spirits escape the corrupt world of the city to get back to the simple life of the land—but no one is spared here from the unwieldy power of love. The exiled Rosalind takes refuge in the forest, dressed in boy’s garb, only to come face-to-face with the love of her life, Orlando.
Director Daryl Cloran shared, “When I think of the 1960s, I feel an immediate connection between the storyline of As You Like It and the music of The Beatles—and the songs we’ve chosen lend themselves perfectly to this romantic story. The free-spirited journey of the play’s characters is reminiscent of the social and cultural evolution during that time, so beautifully expressed by the poetry and music of The Beatles.”
Jennifer Latimore portrays the clever and strong-willed Rosalind. Latimore previously appeared in Chicago Shakespeare’s Macbeth, adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, and Love’s Labor’s Lost. She has additionally held leading roles in Stick Fly, Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest at Writers Theatre; Too Heavy For Your Pocket at TimeLine Theatre, for which she garnered the 2019 Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play; Bernhardt/Hamlet at Goodman Theatre; as well as productions with American Players Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Liam Quealy is the brave young Orlando, who becomes the object of Rosalind’s affection. A stand-out in Chicago’s musical theater scene, Quealy has appeared as Claude in Hair at Mercury Theatre Chicago, Sky in Mamma Mia! at Drury Lane Theatre, and Huey Calhoun in Memphis at Porchlight Music Theatre, for which he was nominated for a Jeff Award in 2018. Portraying Rosalind’s cousin and dear friend Celia is Cher Álvarez. Named to the Chicago Tribune’s “Hot New Faces of 2019” list, Álvarez most recently starred as Nora in A Doll’s House at Writers Theatre, and has appeared at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, and American Player’s Theatre.
Juan Chioran is the infamously melancholy Jaques. Chioran has been a leading performer at Canada’s renowned Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival for more than a decade, with notable performances in Love’s Labor’s Lost, Man of La Mancha, and The Light in the Piazza. He previously appeared in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Cymbeline, The Three Musketeers, and Hecuba, and on Broadway in Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Kevin Gudahl appears as Rosalind’s father Duke Senior, as well as the usurper Duke Frederick. A veteran of more than forty Chicago Shakespeare productions, Gudahl has also appeared at Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Writers Theatre, as well as in five seasons with the Stratford Festival.
Portraying the bawdy fool Touchstone is Kayvon Khoshkam. Khoshkam’s credits include numerous appearances at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre in productions including December Man, Twelfth Night, Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God, as well as roles with Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach in Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and Macbeth. Tony Carter is Orlando’s brother, Oliver. Carter’s credits include Beauty and the Beast, Saturday Night Fever, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Drury Lane Oakbrook, as well as Ghost, High Fidelity, and Cabaret at Theatre at the Center.
Michael Mahler is the love-sick shepherd Silvius, who sets his sights on Phoebe—portrayed by Heidi Kettenring. Michael Mahler, who serves double duty as the production’s Music Director, most recently appeared in Holiday Inn, Honeymoon in Vegas, and City of Angels at Marriott Theatre, as well as Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story and Little Shop of Horrors at American Blues Theatre. Jeff Award-winner Heidi Kettenring is a luminary Chicago performer with memorable leading roles in the Chicago run of Wicked and the National Tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as beloved musicals including The King and I, Oliver!, Cats, Annie Get Your Gun, Les Misérables, and My Fair Lady.
Completing the cast are Adam Wesley Brown (Forest Lord/Hymen), Austin Eckert (Charles the Wrestler/Amiens), Kieran McCabe (Forest Lord), Steven Pringle (Adam/Sir Oliver Martext), and Bri Sudia (Audrey).
This adaptation of As You Like It is conceived by Daryl Cloran and the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Joining Cloran on the creative team is Music Supervisor Ben Elliot, Choreographer and Fight Choreographer Jonathan Hawley Purvis, Jeff Award-winning Music Director Michael Mahler, and Creative Consultant Rick Boynton. Bringing the free-spirited Forest of Arden to life onstage are Scenic Designer Pam Johnson, Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre, Lighting Designer Marcus Doshi, and Wig and Make-up Designer Richard Jarvie. Rounding out the creative team are Verse Coach Larry Yando and Assistant Director Jasmine Bracey.
Chicago Shakespeare strives to make its facility and performances accessible to all patrons through its Access Shakespeare programs. Accessible performances for As You Like It include:
- Open-captioned Performances – Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
A text display of the words and sounds heard during a play, synced live with the action onstage.
- ASL Duo-interpreted Performance – Friday, June 12, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
All dialogue and lyrics are translated into American Sign Language by two certified interpreters.
- Audio-described Performance – Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., with optional Touch Tour at 12:00 p.m.
A program that enables patrons who are blind or have low vision to more fully experience live performances by providing spoken narration of a play’s key visual elements. Touch Tours provide patrons who are blind or have low vision the opportunity to experience, firsthand, a production’s design elements.
As You Like It will be presented April 30–June 21, 2020 in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater. Single tickets ($49–$90) are on sale now. Special discounts will be available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at chicagoshakes.com.
ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, Chicago Shakespeare has redefined what a great American Shakespeare theater can be—a company that defies theatrical category. This Regional Tony Award-winning theater’s year-round season features as many as twenty productions and 650 performances—including plays, musicals, world premieres, family programming, and presentations from around the globe. Chicago Shakespeare is the city’s leading presenter of international work, and has toured its own productions across five continents. The Theater’s nationally acclaimed arts in literacy programs support the work of teachers, and bring Shakespeare to life on stage for tens of thousands of students annually. Each summer, the company tours a free professional production to neighborhood parks across Chicago. In 2017 the Theater unveiled The Yard, which, together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs, positions Chicago Shakespeare as Chicago’s most versatile performing arts center.