Was It Really “As We Liked It?”

As You Like It Showings and Tickets | Source: IMSA Virtual Campus



It was unfortunate that I could not be out there to see the moment Duke Frederick called off the wrestling match and checked in on one of the wrestlers, Charles. Ah, Charles, you will be remembered as the big wrestling dude, who got kicked by the great challenger Orlando.

Welcome to France, and watch as we enter the Shakespearean world of Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone as they embark on a wild journey through the Forest of Ardenne as a result of their banishment under the rule of Duke Frederick. Now enter the rivalrous brothers Orlando and Oliver, with Oliver desiring to kill Orlando and take all of their father’s inheritance for himself. Notice the forest-dwelling characters Silvius, Corin, and Phoebe, which Rosalind and Celia, turned Ganymede and Aliena in the forest, respectively, encounter. Let’s navigate this wondrous pastoral world through comedy and drama, like any typical Shakespearean comedy and a pastoral “Romeo and Juliet”, and admire the touch of hippie-ness mixed within Shakespearean English.

I was Oliver, and I was meant to kill my in-play brother Orlando and essentially be the bad guy in this play. It was a surprise, but I had a lot of good times changing my personality into a more irritable and meaner character archetype. Many of my wildest lines come from the beginning where I make a grand appearance to mark my presence and attempt to usurp my brother’s share of the inheritance.


Who knew that an inheritance could matter this much??

Friday Performance (11/3/23) 

My anxiety was rather sky-high as I awaited the beginning of the performance. Since I came on in the first scene of the first act, I was already waiting outside when Orlando began his long monologue ranting about how I didn’t treat him well enough as a brother. Getting ready for my entrance, I ran around backstage getting whatever I needed, making sure my lines and that my queues lined up with what was being said. Next thing you know, I was walking on stage, under the spotlight… 

“Now sir, what make you here… What mar you then sir?… KNOW YOU BEFORE WHOM SIR???”

I could feel the anger that I had to put on as we went through the “argument” scene. Before you know it, we were grappling and I was forced down onto one knee as retribution for my actions. 

“Nothing remains, but that I kindle the boy thither, which now I’ll go about.”

I left the stage, and I would not return for a whole and a part of an act alongside several scenes. By the end of the performance, I was still feeling shaky. I knew that this performance wasn’t being judged or critiqued in some manner, but it still felt unfamiliar to engage in this activity and undergo this kind of pressure. I knew what it was like being under the spotlight, but it still took some time to feel comfortable under this type of spotlight.

Saturday Performance (11/4/23)

This was the most uneventful of the performances in my opinion besides me nearly missing one of my cues because I incorrectly thought that a door that I needed to enter through was locked. I dashed to the door as I realized it was unlocked and made it just seconds before my cue arrived. Giving 3 monologues while out of breath and attempting to mask it from the audience is a challenge of its own.

This day was my shakiest performance… I almost messed up one of my monologues since I had to split my focus between memorizing my lines and adding enough movement to make each of those monologues interesting. And just like that, it was over. This Saturday was just as I liked it. There was so much to take in and I could finally take a break and rest after spending so many hours under the pressure of the spotlight and the makeup windows to make it through this performance. 

Sunday Performance (11/5/23)

Today was an exciting day, the final run, and we already had two performances behind us. Kind of felt sad saying goodbye to the previous week since I had spent so much time in the auditorium, learning how to apply makeup for the first time and attempting to crank out college applications while watching for my next entrance.


Saying this line had me feeling somewhat ingrained within the evil character archetype. It intrigued me, completely altering my usual personality to match that of the mean guy who just wants to kill everybody and take everything for himself. Then he completely changes himself once he finds love later in the play. And just like that, it was over. I removed the stage makeup on my face for the last time as everyone began cleaning up.

This has satisfied my younger self, who had always wanted to be involved in a school drama production, whether it was as a part of the stage crew or an actual actor. Taking this chance again has satisfied my theater-deprived soul, and now that soul of my childhood can finally rest.

I wonder if I should keep doing this in the future…

“Stay Jacques, stay…” There are too many memorable lines from this play. I wonder what my answer would be to this statement as I walk through an imaginary door like the one on the set… 

Stay, Nathaniel, stay…

About the Author

Nathaniel Huang
Hi there! I'm Nathaniel, a senior-year staff writer currently living in 1505 C-Wing. You can probably find me in a quiet corner, listening to various music, watching a Twitch stream, looking at either a map, a painting, or some music compositions, or practicing for Quiz Bowl.

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