Forest rendering by Ian Wallace
The Dirt

The Dirt

UC Davis Presents Gender-Bending “As You Like It”

By: Michael French for The Dirt

“All the world’s a stage” and much more when the UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance presents William Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It.

This telling is set in the contemporary world where everything—including gender—is fluid. 

Directed by alumna Josy Miller (PhD, performance studies, ’15), the classic opens the department’s 2023-2024 season on Nov. 16 in the Main Theatre, Wright Hall.

The ambitious Duke Frederick has usurped the dukedom from his brother, the rightful Duke Senior, who has been banished. At an online gaming contest, Rosalind, daughter of the Duke Senior, becomes enamored of the gamer Orlando. But before they can pursue their mutual attraction, Rosalind finds herself banished by her vengeful uncle. Disguising herself as a young man, Rosalind, her cousin Celia and the court’s fool Touchstone flee to the Forest of Arden for refuge.

Once there, the trio find themselves entangled in a series of rustic romances and Misadventures.

A pastoral comedy, this production artfully and humorously explores themes of love, gender fluidity, sexuality, and injustice.

“At core, As You Like It is about joy as a radical act of resilience and resistance in the midst of an unjust world,” Miller said. “A story that bravely explores the intersections of love, desire, gender, sexuality, and identity, every character experiences a transformation in relationship to these intersections – whether that is realizing belonging, embracing the fullness and complexity of their identity, or finally recognizing who it is they truly love.”

The production features original music by doctoral composition student Colin Minigan. The creative team also includes scenic design by instructor Ian Wallace, costume design by instructor Joanne Martin and lighting and media design by Assistant Professor Ethan Hollinger.

As You Like It runs Nov. 16, 17, 18, 30 and Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. 

Adult tickets are $15, faculty/staff tickets are $12, and student/senior tickets are $5.

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