A collaborative adaptation of As You Like It by William Shakespeare; this is the marketing tag for The Rude Mechanical’s latest production— Arden Now— which debuted earlier this summer at the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival. Now playing at the Greenbelt Arts Center for a two-weekend engagement, the doors have been opened to those unwilling or unable to attend the chaotic frenzy that is CapFringe, and the stage is a veritable carnival of concepts that don’t quite come together as Director Melissa Schick intends in her director’s note.
Suppose within the girdles of the Greenbelt Arts Center’s walls are now confined two mighty forces— The Rude Mechanicals: a community theatre troupe that delivers judiciously trimmed and readily accessible Shakespearean plays— and Henry V: Shakespeare’s middle Henry history play. Directed by Rebecca Speas, this muse of fire finds its place among the Bard’s canon in true Rude Mechanicals style and delivers swiftly the plot, the point,
Girl wants boy. Boy wants different girl. Girl tricks boy into wanting her. And they live happily ever after. Other stuff happens. There’s a fool involved somehow. And a king. And a fistula. That the girl magically cures the king of with her magical powers, or her herbs and whatnot. And then they live happily ever after. Also some love letters and a ring. Maybe some secretive identities, a ten-o’clock kidnapping, and a horse?