Exile! Romance in the forest! Hand-to-Hand combat! Cross-dressing! A final hoe-down! Maine Coast Waldorf’s Class of 2020 will be enacting all these exciting moments and more in William Shakespeare’s classic comedy As You Like It on Thursday and Friday, May 3-4, at 7 p.m. in the Community Hall, 57 Desert Road, Freeport. Suggested donation at the door is $5. There will also be an Open Dress Rehearsal on Tuesday, May 1, also at 7 p.m., and a school performance at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2.
The play begins after Duke Frederick has overthrown his brother, Duke Senior, who takes refuge in the Forest of Arden with his loyal followers. His daughter Rosalind and her cousin Celia soon follow suit after Rosalind is banished by Duke Frederick. To protect them both, Rosalind assumes the identity of a young man—Ganymede—and Celia poses as “his” sister Aliena. They also enlist Touchstone, the court jester, to escort them into the forest.
Meanwhile, Orlando de Boys has been mistreated and kept in poverty by his brother Oliver since their father’s death. After he learns of a plot on his life engineered by his brother, Orlando also flees with his faithful old servant Adam to the forest of Arden, where he spends his time writing love poems to Rosalind and hanging them on trees.
Orlando encounters Rosalind disguised as Ganymede, who convinces Orlando that he can be “cured” of his lovesickness by wooing Ganymede as if he were Rosalind. Elsewhere in the forest, romance blossoms: the shepherd Silvius suffers unrequited love for Phebe, who has fallen head over heels for Ganymede/Rosalind. Meanwhile, jester Touchstone woos goat girl Audrey.
The once-detestable Oliver pursues Orlando into the woods, who saves Oliver’s life. Transformed by the experience, Oliver falls in love with Celia/Aliena. In the final scenes, Ganymede promises to use his “magic” to conjure up the real Rosalind and enable all the lovers to wed, ending with a foot-stompin’, hootin’ and hollerin’ celebratory dance.