Hickory – Mark Woodard, guest director at the Hickory Community Theatre has just announced the cast for Shakespeare’s romantic comedy As You Like It. Performances begin on Friday, February 1, 2019 in the Jeffers Theatre.

In this frothy comedy of disguised maidens and exiled royalty, the extraordinary Rosalind, her brave cousin Celia, and Touchstone, one of Shakespeare’s funniest fools, flee into the woods to escape death at the hands of her usurping uncle. There, in the bewitching Forest of Arden, they discover shepherds and aristocrats, country folk and lovers – and, ultimately, life, love, joy, and freedom. Shakespeare’s glorious and wise comedy reminds us of everything it is to be alive.

Featured in the leading role of Rosalind is Christy Rhianna Branch. Her cousin Celia is played by Chelsea Weaver and Justin Thomas is Touchstone the fool. Also in leading roles are Donovan Harper as Rosalind’s eventual lover, Orlando and Mark Alton Rose as the melancholy Jaques.

The supporting cast is made up of Steve Austin as Adam/Corin, Brittany Badertscher as Phebe, Zachary Otto Badertscher as Charles, Joe Clark as Frederick, Jordan Erby as William, Ryleigh H. as Le Beau, Kayla Harper as Jaquelyn de Boys, Jeff Hatley as Duke Senior, Cameron Owens as Silvius, Emma Lee Kurts as Audrey, Miriam McKee as First Lord and Jordan Smith as Oliver. Rounding out the ensemble are Chloe J. Alderman, Deanna Erby, Denise Erby, Cora Hatley and Shannon Hatley.

Performances of As You Like It are February 1-17, 2019, Fridays and Saturdays (Feb 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16) at 8:00pm, Thursdays (Feb 7 & 14) at 7:30pm and Sundays (Feb 10 & 17) at 2:30pm. Tickets for Fridays through Sundays are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (60 and over), and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets for Thursday night performances are $14 for adults and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Call the box office at 828-328-2283 or visit hickorytheatre.org to purchase tickets or get more information.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Theatre’s 2018-2019 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. As You Like It is produced by Catawba Radiology.

Photo: The cast of As You Like It, (back row left to right: Cameron Owens, Jordan Erby, Zachary Badertscher, Jeff Hatley, Donovan Harper, Kayla Harper; middle row: Denise Erby, Deanna Erby, Jordan Smith, Steve Austin, Chelsea Weaver, Mark Rose, Justin Thomas, Shannon Hatley, Emma Lee Kurts, Joe Clark; front row: Miriam McKee, Christy Branch, Brittany Badertscher, Chloe J Alderman, Cora Hatley and Ryleigh H.) Photo by Mark Woodard.