Taproot sets The Bard’s ‘As You Like It’ in ’60s

Taproot Theatre Co. opens its season with Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” set in the late American 1960s. Director Karen Lund gives this romantic comedy a hip twist by transporting Shakespeare’s characters, story and even his language to the hippie movement, during which the history and culture of the time naturally add new dynamics to the story and new dimensions to the characters’ motivations.

Set against the backdrop of the Great Society, the story unfolds in a country divided by the youth movement’s growing distrust of a usurping governmental authority. A rollicking retreat into the forest of Arden gives a group of disgruntled youths a chance to explore a new philosophy of peace and learn some lessons about love.

“As You Like It” runs through March 1. It is recommended for children 12 and older; children under 5 are not admitted.

“Battle of the Bards”: It’s like a theatrical version of “Survivor.” This weekend, Ghost Light Theatricals presents “Battle of the Bards,” in which three ensembles perform scenes from three classical play adaptations. The audience then picks which play goes into Ghost Light’s 2008-09 season.

“Battle of the Bards” features:

A selection from “The Hamletmachine” by Heiner Mueller, a modern, multimedia deconstruction of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” directed by Alex Garnett.

A piece by John Guare from “Love’s Fire,” seven of Shakespeare’s love sonnets adapted into seven short plays, directed by Rob Bergquist.

And part of Moliere’s “The Misanthrope,” set in the Seattle of the ’90s, translated and adapted by Lauren Goldman Marshall and based on a concept by Alan DiBona, directed by Jessica Stepka.

Admission includes one vote, and additional votes are only $1 each. All proceeds support the work of Ghost Light Theatricals.

Right after the Saturday “Battle,” cast, crew and audience will celebrate and find out the winning play.

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