On Nov. 11, Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts Department performed their first night of Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It.” This play was a four-night event, starting on Thursday night and going until Sunday afternoon.
“As a member of the Theatre Arts Program (TAP), I have been attending plays here at SHU since my freshman year of college. I am always excited to experience the main stage plays at the Edgerton versus the Little Theatre. This play will go down in my books as one of my favorites,” said junior Alaina Derose.
Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” is a comedy with the central theme of love. The overall principle of this story is the experience of “love at first sight.” The leads were performed by sophomore Colleen Degennaro, who starred as Rosalind, and sophomore Nicholas Rubano, who starred as Orlando.
“After a month of hard work, it was so rewarding to put it in front of an audience. Getting that feedback and applause truly transforms a performance into something beautiful and interactive,” said Degennaro.
Degennaro’s first show was Sacred Heart’s fall musical “Sondheim on Sondheim” in 2020. She has been a part of TAP since her first semester of freshman year and is a graphic design major as well as a theatre arts student.
“The running crew, stage managers, and other teams work together to create a calm and efficient environment for the cast during the show. As actors, our job is to put our real identities out of our heads for the time we are performing, completely burying ourselves in the character we are portraying, so most of the time you will see actors with their eyes closed, thinking to themselves and closely paying attention to the show,” said Rubano.
Rubano has been a part of TAP since his freshman year, and “As You Like It” is his third show while being a part of the program. Some past theater credits include “Once” and “Footloose.” Rubano is a theatre arts major and studying public relations.
There is a lot of work that is done behind the scenes for a production of this size. Besides the cast, the crew members were hard at work as well throughout the duration of the performance and prior to the curtains going up.
“We had rehearsals three to four times a week with very long rehearsals on Saturdays. Tech would be somewhere between six to eight hours long every day,” said senior Sarah Lindskog.
This is Lindskog’s first play as Production Stage Manager. This job includes all tech formalities that go into the production of the performance. She and her colleagues work with the lights, sounds, and music. Lindskog is a hospitality major and has been a part of TAP since her freshman year.
“Up in the booth, we are all wearing headsets. Everyone is very quiet because we need to be on the ball. If we miss something or miss our cue or something goes wrong, that’s on us. You have to be focused,” said Lindskog.
Since this is a main stage play, the cast and crew consisted of roughly 50 members, compared to plays that take place in the little theatre and have a cast and crew of roughly 20 members.
“‘As You Like It’ has truly become one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. As our director John Flaherty says, the heart of the show is love and respect. ‘As You Like It’ shows that love transcends all,” said Degennaro.