As if seeing "As You Like It" at Shakespeare's Globe Theater wasn't enough excitement for a year, we performed the play ourselves just a week after we got back from London. Cari, who has had loads of directing experience, headed up a production consisting of a good chunk of the cousins in our family, and pulled it all together in less than two months. It was FUN.
During dress rehearsal, we took some "publicity shots" for the event and I thought I would share a handful with you all. We had a blast coming up with the looks for our characters, using a mishmash of period costumes and modern pieces. Hopefully it will give you some fashion-y inspiration, whether historic or contemporary.
Oh yes, and I will attempt to abbreviate the story line for you, although it may lose all the shreds of coherence that it had in the first place... :)
Rosalind and Celia are cousins living at the court of Duke Frederick (Celia's father, who is also the baddie). Rosalind's father, the banished Duke Senior, resides in the forest of Arden. Following a court wrestling event during which Rosalind falls for the young Orlando de Boyes, Duke Frederick pronounces her banished from court.
- Rosalind (Abigail) is wearing a gown that I made for another one of Cari's theater productions, Cyrano de Bergerac, for which I costumed the actress playing "Roxane". Cari got the watch/necklace on Portobello Road in London.
- Celia (yours truly) is wearing a 1790s "chemise" dress and a jewelry set I picked up at Accessorize in London.
Celia insists on fleeing the court with her cousin and they travel to the forest of Arden, in disguise. Rosalind is dressed as the shepherd lad, Ganymede, while Celia is "his" sister, Aliena. Weary and footsore, they purchase a cottage and set up house in the forest.
- Rosalind (Abi) is wearing a modern blouse, gentleman's waistcoat from the 1770s, a leather newsboy cap, and modern pants and boots (the latter which I picked up at Famous Footwear for about $30 earlier this year, and love to death).
- Celia (yours truly) is wearing a chemise, corset and petticoat from the 1770s. I made the corset about a year ago and it worked quite well as a bodice, tucked into the skirt.
Touchstone, the court jester who accompanied Rosalind and Celia in their flight, enjoys the country life and teaching Corin, a local shepherdess, some court manners.
- Corin (Lydia) is wearing a modern blouse, 1770s petticoat, red sash and a scarf.
- Touchstone (Josh) is wearing a paper hat, 1770s shirt, strange and unusual vest, and some brilliantly costume-y "slashed" pants.
Meanwhile, Rosaline (disguised as Ganymede) is wreaking havoc in the forest. By chance, she meets up with Orlando and, still pretending to be a boy, vows that she will cure him of his love for Rosalind if he will pretend that "she" (whom Orlando thinks is a "he") is Rosalind, and woo her.
Confused yet? Hey! It's Shakespeare! ;)
As if she wasn't busy enough trying to keep Orlando deceived, Rosalind/Ganymede attempts to convince the shepherdess Phebe to return the love of the long-suffering Sylvius. Just one little problem... Phebe falls for Ganymede instead.
- Sylvius (Anna) is wearing a ruffled shirt (you can actually see a bit of her costume for the shepherdess "Audrey" underneath), a medieval doublet and a newsboy cap.
- Phebe (Emma) is wearing a medieval chemise, 1770s bodice and "peasant" skirt.
Unbeknownst to Rosalind and Celia, Duke Senior and his band of "Robin Hood"-ish outlaws are living quite close by. Here's one handsome fellow who has a talent for singing.
- Amiens (Aidan) wears a 1770s hat, medieval tunic, leather vest, pants and boots.
Another of the outlaws, Jaques, is often criticized for his melancholy expression...
- Jaques (Josh) is wearing a coat of "patches" and a paper mask Cari purchased at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Only he could pull this off. :)
In the end, there's more than a little confusion before Rosalind and Orlando are married in a quadruple wedding, the other happy couples being Celia and Oliver (Orlando's older brother), Touchstone and Audrey (a country wench) and Sylvius and Phebe. Rosalind is reunited with her father, who is is reinstated as Duke once more.
- Orlando (Jonathan) is wearing a medieval tunic (from Museum Replicas Limited) and various medieval accessories (which I forget the names of ;), including a sword.
And everyone lived happily ever after...
Of course, there were a bunch more characters and costumes that I wasn't able to include in this post, but I tried to capture the highlights. I hope these photos provided some fun and if they inspire you to read the original play - enjoy being thoroughly confused! lol.
As you can see, we were a real mish-mash as far as costuming goes, but I think it made things even more fun than if everything had been authentic. Some of the most brilliant ideas come when you have to "make do". Necessity is the mother of invention. ;)