Katharine Maness, artistic director of Shakespeare in the Woods (SitW) is pleased to announce that in lieu of a 2021 live performance season, SitW will be mounting a small film production of ‘As You Like It.’ The film adaptation will be shot in the late summer-early fall landscape of the Green Mountains “that we know and love, and bring the Forest of Arden right into your homes.”
She continued, “This is an exciting opportunity. A perk that comes with this change of medium, one that I am thoroughly excited about, is that folks who might not have been able to join us in person in Vermont, will now be able to have a full experience regardless of location.”
To capture the depth and beauty of these natural offerings, SitW will be teaming up with Pro Love Visuals, a Film Production Company from Long Island, New York, led by cinematographer Marcus Lewis, who photographed SitW’s 2019 production of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
Non-binary, multi-disciplinary artist K. Paley, who directed ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ for the inaugural season (2019), will be joining SitW once again.
“As You Like It’ explores the space between societal constructs and human nature,” Paley offered, and then asked, “Where does our understanding of gender, sexuality, and status come from? How do these concepts begin to shift as we move away from society into unknown territory? Humans are influenced by two forces: nature and nurture.” Paley concluded, “What does a world look like that is free of patriarchal limitations? We may never know, but we can certainly imagine.”
SitW 2019 season cast member and Shakespearean text-wiz Caitlin McQuade is currently working with Paley on delicately trimming the script to reach the feature film length of 90 minutes.
SitW’s future, which Maness intends to be a long and sustainable one in the Green Mountains, is relying on community support through this “alternate season.” She said fiscal support of ‘As You Like It’ directly enables artists to be monetarily valued for their work, and strengthens the performing arts community that “… has been especially devastated by the disappearance of work opportunities during the pandemic. When you donate to SitW, you are enabling us to grow and continue our presence, as well as helping unconventional art get out into the world.”
Maness recently visited her hometown of Pawlet and had the opportunity to walk and drive all over, making note of potential filming locations, and feeling the familiar sensation of being quite spoiled by the riches that nature has shared with her in Vermont. “I really cannot wait for folks to get transported to the forests, hillsides, fields, thickets; all that makes up this incredibly beautiful land (from the comfort and safety of their own homes) when watching our forthcoming film adaptation of As You Like It.”
Shakespeare in the Woods is officially over the halfway mark to its goal of raising $18,000 for the upcoming film production of “As You Like It.” Maness said, “The support we have received thus far is incredible, and I thank everyone who has contributed to get us to this point. As I have noted before, fundraising in general, but especially now, is not something I take lightly, and it means a great deal to have folks supporting SitW’s artistic vision at any giving level possible during continued financially and socially turbulent times.”
In closing, Maness said as vaccination continues to broaden while infection rates go down, it means a safer working environment for the cast and crew this summer in addition to the protocols SitW will have in place, and a more confident look into the future for SitW’s return to live performances (along with the ability to safely offer community youth outreach and educational opportunities) in 2022.
For more information about Shakespeare in the Woods and how to donate, please visit shakespeareinthewoods.com.