BY BARBARA ARSTEIN
“It has been a gift to pick up the role again because it has become richer. It is so wonderful when she goes to the forest disguised as a boy and suddenly can say whatever she wants! She can speak freely and cleverly (about) the joy of newly discovered love.”
Joy Marr will be playing Rosalind in the comedy “As You Like It,” one of the greatest female roles in Shakespeare’s plays, in parks throughout Queens and in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island and Jersey City this summer. Along with the tragedy “Julius Caesar,” in which she also appears, playing three roles, it is one of the two plays being presented by the Hip to Hip Theatre Company, which she co-founded with her husband, Artistic Director Jason Marr, in their tenth season.
Jason, who will also play three parts in both plays (including Brutus in “Julius Caesar” and Jacques in “As You Like It”) , commented “Julius Caesar” begs to be performed during an election year, and ‘As You Like It’ is ideal for our celebratory season because it was the very first play we produced.” This summer audiences will be able to see the actors more easily thanks to the company’s new raised stage. One hour before each performance, the children’s program “Kids & the Classics” (for kids ages 4 to 14, and free, as all their performances are) is presented, which allows children to become familiar with Shakespeare’s characters and situations through interactive experiences. Speaking of kids, the Marrs’ talented young daughter Sabrina will play the part of a page in “As You Like It”. The romantic male lead, Orlando, will be played by Erick Gonzalez, who previously worked with “Hip to Hip” when he appeared in “Taming of the Shrew.”
“As You Like It” takes audiences on a journey full of fun, wit and music as it explores the nuances of a young woman (Rosalind) pretending to be a young man (Ganymede) pretending to be a young woman (Rosalind again). Think that sounds complicated? Since women in Shakespeare’s day were played by young men, the original role involved a male pretending to be a female pretending to be a male pretending to be a female! Shakespeare’s many roles involving women who disguise themselves as men were all created to make performing easier for the young men who played them in his time.
To see any performance, just bring a blanket or a chair (not necessary at Voelker Orth). There are no tickets and no lines.