A Night of Shakespeare at the Rozsa Center
HOUGHTON – Shakespeare. The bard. The greatest writer of all time. No matter how you describe him, his impact on life and culture is undeniable.
The Acting Company will be bringing Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” to the Rozsa Center for a special one-night engagement Feb. 12.
The story follows Rosalind, who, after a disruption in her uncle’s court, retreats to the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia and Touchstone, a court jester. It is there she meets Orlando with whom she has fallen in love.
The part of Rosalind is played by Elizabeth Stahlmann, a member of The Acting Company.
Stahlmann said the director, Dan Rothenberg, brings a playful spirit to production which has allowed her to find a lot of fun and play with each performance.
“It can be draining to think of doing the show again, but ultimately on stage it’s just a joy,” Stahlmann said. “We have a lot of fun playing with the ensemble of actors onstage. We’ve come to know each other really well and that can develop a camaraderie on stage.”
Stahlmann said Rosalind is one of Shakespeare’s most complex female characters and she’s been given a lot of depth.
“She’s extremely intelligent. She’s got the wit of a lawyer,” Stahlmann said. “Her banter is really profound and interesting. She’s also really funny and brave. All those aspects get me excited to play her and discover who she is.”
While Shakespeare might not be everyone’s favorite author, there are themes throughout the play that everyone can relate to.
“This play is really about love,” Stahlmann said. “You can see all forms of love. Shakespeare has taken these relationships and showed the different ways that people love each other or don’t love each other. It’s about seeking human connection, which is very meaningful.”
Playing Orlando, the love interest of Rosalind, is Joseph Midyett, another actor touring with The Acting Company.
Midyett said his character is a man who has been denied his rightful place in life by his elder brother.
“He’s become dissatisfied with his current situation and decides to venture out on his own,” Midyett said.
Midyett, who has acted before in other Shakespeare productions with The Acting Company, said he thinks “As You Like It” is a wonderful tale.
“It’s just fun,” Midyett said.
In addition to the story, Midyett has also enjoyed working with his costar Elizabeth Stahlmann.
“I think she’s a wonderful actress,” he said. “She’s very present on stage. She’s so charming so it’s very easy to fall in love with her. I don’t have to do much acting.”
This is Midyett’s first time visiting Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“I’ve never seen a frozen lake before,” he said. “I didn’t see snow until I was in my late 20s. I’m really looking forward to seeing that beautiful part of the country.”
“As You Like It” will be performed Tuesday at the Rozsa Center. Tickets range between $22 and $26. For more information, visit rozsa.tickets.mtu.edu.