Welcome to...

As You Like It

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Dan Hodge

CAST

(in order of appearance)


ADAM/SIR OLIVER MARTEXT                  DANNY CAMPBELL

ORLANDO                                                    STEVEN LONE
OLIVER                                                         MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
ROSALIND                                                   AMANDA SCHAAR
CELIA                                                            RACHAEL VANWORMER
TOUCHSTONE                                             BRIAN MCCANN
LE BEAU/2nd FORESTER/WILLIAM         DURWOOD MURRAY
HISPERIA/1st FORESTER/AUDREY          LEIGH AKIN
DUKE FREDERICK/DUKE SENIOR           NEIL MCDONALD
AMIENS                                                        JADEN GUERRERO
JAQUES                                                        RICHARD BAIRD*
CORIN                                                          WALTER MURRAY
PHOEBE                                                       TAYLOR HENDERSON
SILVIUS/LORD 1                                         GEOFFREY ULYSSES GEISSINGER


And Introducing
XANDER BROWN as CHARLES THE WRESTLER


*denotes member of the Actor's Equity Association (AEA)


CREATIVE TEAM


DIRECTOR                                            DAN HODGE
STAGE MANAGER                              GABRIELLE FLANDERS
COSTUMES, PROPS and LIGHTS       RICHARD BAIRD, AMANDA SCHAAR
FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY                  CHRISTOPHER M. WILLIAMS
DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY                STEVEN LONE, NEIL MCDONALD
ORIGINAL SCORE                               JADEN GUERRERO


(The soundtrack will be recorded and made available for purchase. To reserve an advance copy, email info@newfortunetheatre.com.)

 

NEW FORTUNE THEATRE COMPANY


ARTISTIC DIRECTOR                 RICHARD BAIRD
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR             AMANDA SCHAAR
SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR       NICK KENNEDY

SPECIAL THANKS TO

 

WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 
AND TO OUR GENEROUS VOLUNTEERS

THERE WILL BE ONE 15 MINUTE INTERMISSION.

ENJOY THE SHOW!

DIRECTORS NOTE
Anyone can tell you that As You Like It boasts some of Shakespeare’s richest language about love. Its full, joyous swing at it can be so intoxicating that we can be in danger of missing the subtler aspects. For example, the word most often associated with love in this play is, “wound,” which says a lot about the longing the characters carry. Everybody is pining, almost to the point of surrender when it looks like things won’t break in their favor – and yet they keep soldiering on.


We get a portraits of mismatched lovers and love at first sight, but the central story is something else again. Two people are, perhaps, infatuated at first sight, but is it really love?


Beautifully, they find themselves in a situation where they get the chance to learn from each other. As Amanda beautifully put it while we were rehearsing, Rosalind essentially gets to look at Orlando and say, “This is me. Can you love me?” When she dons the mask of Ganymede, she gets to set her beauty aside and show Orlando her heart, which is a rare and vulnerable thing.


It’s a play that wrestles hard with identity. Not only who these people are, but who they long to be. Arden is a place of becoming, and each character gets to go on their own journey toward a new self. Or, at least a deeper version of the self they already carried. The question I found most central to the story is; when the opportunity comes to shed an old skin and trip headlong into a new life, can we take it?
-Dan Hodge

ARTIST BIOS


LEIGH AKIN (HISPERIA/1st FORESTER/AUDREY) New Fortune: Debut.  Leigh is a singer, actor, and illustrator. She has performed across the United States in theaters including Soho Rep, Florentine Opera, Bronx Opera, and Skylight Music Theater. Most recently she played the role of Joan in "Love Song," before which, the role of Beth in the west coast premiere of "Book of Leaves" with Roustabouts Theatre Company. During quarantine she kept herself busy by producing a series of cooking-show-cabarets from her apartment called "Leigh Sings Songs and Makes Waffles." you can watch them all and see more of her work at LeighEllenAkin.com.

RICHARD BAIRD (JAQUES) New Fortune: Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Birthday Party, Henry V.  Mr. Baird is an award-winning actor, director and producer. Richard served as Associate Artistic Director of Southwest Shakespeare Company 2008-09 and is the Founding Artistic Director or Poor Players Theatre Company. Richard has been seen throughout the United States in regional Theatre. Select acting credits include: New Fortune: Henry V (Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Performance and for Outstanding Direction), The Birthday Party and Les Liaisons Danegereuses. North Coast Rep: An Iliad, The Homecoming Ben Butler, Holmes & Watson, Betrayal, Romeo and Juliet, Gabriel, Way Downriver, The Tempest; Old Globe: Dolls House; San Diego Rep: Disgraced; Backyard Renaissance: American Buffalo.  Arizona Theatre Company: Disgraced, Romeo and Juliet; Santa Barbara Ensemble Theatre, Measure for Measure; Southwest Shakespeare Company: Cyrano de Bergerac (Arizoni Best Actor Winner), Taming of the Shrew (Arizoni Best Actor Winner), Othello, Tartuffe, The Winter's Tale, The Merchant of Venice; Kingsmen Shakespeare: Macbeth, The Winter's Tale; Portland Centre Stage: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Oregon Shakespeare Festival: The Winters Tale, Cyrano de Bergerac, Two Gentlemen of Verona; Santa Cruz Shakespeare: Macbeth. As You Like It marks Mr. Baird's 51st Shakespeare production.


Mr. Baird is sponsored in part by Anonymous.


DANNY CAMPBELL (ADAM/SIR OLIVER MARTEXT) New Fortune: Debut.  CREDITS: THE NORMAN CONQUESTS trilogy (Cygnet Theatre); HAMLET, ALL MY SONS, MACBETH, ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, KING JOHN, RICHARD II, TAMING OF THE SHREW, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING  (Intrepid Theatre Company); FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, ROOM SERVICE (Lamb’s Players Theatre); SWEENEY TODD, WEST SIDE STORY, 1776, PHANTOM, CHESS, YOU NEVER CAN TELL, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, BORN YESTERDAY, RING ROUND THE MOON (Moonlight Stage Productions); MY FAIR LADY, 1776 (Starlight Musical Theatre); HAMLET, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Octad-One); TAMING OF THE SHREW (La Jolla Stage Company); PLAZA SUITE, MR. ROBERTS, BYE BYE BIRDIE, THE HAPPY TIME, THE GREAT SEBASTIANS, ALONE TOGETHER (Long Beach Playhouse); SHE LOVES ME, LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO (Scripps Ranch Theatre); LA BÊTE (Fritz Theatre); LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART (Actors Asylum); A NEW BRAIN (Diversionary); BRIGADOON (Patio Playhouse); A WALK IN THE WOODS, I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER (Onstage Playhouse). Direction: TWELFTH NIGHT, ROMEO AND JULIET: (Octad-One); SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD (Actors Asylum); THE SOUND OF MUSIC (TPAC); MAN OF LA MANCHA (Lamplighters); CLOSER THAN EVER (POWPAC). Undying love and thanks to Sandy and the Schmovids…


Mr. Campbell is sponsored by Elaine Hiel, Deborah Pantoni, and Julie Ustin.


GEOFFREY ULYSSES GEISSINGER (SILVIUS/LORD 1) New Fortune: Debut.  A San Diego-based actor, writer, and director, Geoffrey earned his BA in Theatre Performance and Theatre Studies with a Creative Writing minor from Saint Mary’s College of California. Before finishing his degree, he studied in the Drama Department at Queen Mary University of London. While there, he performed in Irene at the Dr. Johnson’s House, which was the play’s most recent performance since David Garrick’s original production in 1749. His original plays have been featured at the San Diego International Fringe Festival (The Chameleon) and Under 30: A Festival of One-Acts at Saint Mary’s College (ELIZA). A three-time attendee of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Geoffrey was an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Nominee in 2019. He has also featured in the Staged Readings Series at North Coast Rep. Recent Acting Credits: Armand Lumé in Murder at Roland Manor (Thunder Bay Theatre), Narrator in Every Brilliant Thing (Saint Mary’s College), Phil/Dave in Almost, Maine (Solano College Theatre), Richard in Fuddy Meers (Solano College Theatre), Frank in School for Lies (Saint Mary’s College), Tuzenbach in Three Sisters (Saint Mary’s College), and Jean Verse in ...And Jesus Moonwalks The Mississippi (Saint Mary’s College). geoffreyulyssesgeissinger.com


JADEN GUERRERO (AMIENS/ORIGINAL SCORE) New Fortune: Debut.  Jaden is a 22 year old freelance singer, actor and musician based in San Diego.  Jaden will attend UCSD for his BFA in theatre.  His previous credits include, “The Other Place” and “Turning off the Morning News” (Onstage Playhouse), and “We Lovers” (Scripps Ranch Theatre).  Jaden is honored to be a part of this brilliant company as his love for Shakespeare runs deeps since high school.  Jaden will have another crack at Romeo after this show, for Vanguard Productions, after previously being shut down at SWC due to the pandemic.  He would like to thank Richard Baird and Dan Hodge for granting him the privilege of Acting, Singing and Composing the show.  He is starstruck, and inspired by the talent, passion and expertise of this cast.  Jaden is thankful for your attendance and hopes you enjoy the show!

TAYLOR HENDERSON (PHOEBE) New Fortune: Les Liaisons Dangereuses.  Taylor is pleased as punch to be stepping into the forest of Arden this summer with the return of New Fortune! She is overjoyed to be performing again on San Diego stages after spending quarantine in her hometown of Las Vegas. Taylor has been performing and working professionally both on and offstage for over 10 years in various capacities as an actor, teaching artist, producer, director, and casting coordinator, as well as taking a new venture into immersive entertainment. In the downtime she does have, Taylor enjoys singing karaoke and playing Dungeons & Dragons. “Inspire, Aspire!” Selected credits: Into The Breeches [Upcoming], Twelfth Night and An Ideal Husband (NCRT), Home Of The Brave, Under Construction (La Jolla Playhouse/Sledgehammer Theatre), Hairspray (SDMT), The Three-Penny Opera (UCSD), A Little Night Music, Avenue Q (Coronado Playhouse), RENT (Southwestern), The Acey Deucey Club (Fever US/Cinereal Productions), Carnival Row (Amazon Prime), Fresh, Fried and Crispy (Netflix), Finding Magic Mike (HBO Max) IG: @tay.renee.onstage

STEVEN LONE (ORLANDO) Steven Lone (he/him) is excited to be making his New Fortune debut in As You Like It. Steven was last seen on stage at Cygnet Theatre as Elliot in Water by the Spoonful. A first generation Latinx-American, Steven was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He then moved to Southern California to attend UC San Diego where he graduated with a degree in Theatre. Some of his favorite credits include: Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, Thom in The Last Wife and Jackie in The Motherf**ker With The Hat (Cygnet Theatre), Ray in Roz & Ray (Craig Noel Award Nominee, San Diego Repertory Theatre) The Uber Driver in Car Plays: Interchange (La Jolla Playhouse), Juan Julian in Anna in the Tropics (Moonlight Stage Productions), and Mace in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety (Craig Noel Award Nominee, Ion Theatre Co.).

BRIAN MCCANN (TOUCHSTONE) New Fortune: Debut.  Brian is a Philadelphia based actor.  He has worked at the McCarter Theatre, Philadelphia Artist Collective, The Arden Theatre, 1812 Productions and the Lantern Theatre to name a few.  Brian is a 30 year member of Comedy Sportz Philadelphia.  Much love and thanks to Dan Hodge on our 14th production together.

NEIL MCDONALD (DUKE FREDERICK/DUKE SENIOR) New Fortune: Henry V, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Poor Players: Romeo and Juliet, Measure for Measure, The Tempest, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, & Merry Wives of Windsor. Other San Diego credits: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (2014 Aubrey Award winner), Postmortem, How the Other Half Loves, The Tempest, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Britannicus, Hairdresser on Fire. Glasgow credits:  Hated Nightfall (Scottish premiere), Mort.  New Fortune Theatre (Perth): Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth.  Other Perth credits:  title role in Dracula, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Miss Bosnia, Medea, and Hamlet (in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead).

DURWOOD MURRAY (LE BEAU/2nd FORESTER/WILLIAM) Durwood is so happy to be making his debut with New Fortune Theatre, previously appearing in Handbagged and Our Lady of Kibeho at Moxie Theatre. He’s also appeared at New Village Arts in The Servant of 2 Masters and 1222 Oceanfront, at Diversionary Theatre in Well and One in Two, and Intrepid Theatre Company in Father Comes Home from the Wars Parts I, II, and III.  Durwood like to thank The Usual Suspects, Wondrous Strange, and all The Partners for their love and support. 

WALTER MURRAY (CORIN) New Fortune: Henry V.  Walter has worked at theaters all over SD, LA and NY.  He was the Executive Director of the SD Black Ensemble Theater. Movies; Your name Here, Regarding the Case of Joan of Arc, Why the Nativity, former anchor at PBS, Thank you to DR's Stanton, Epston and Levine.


MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ (OLIVER) New Fortune: Debut,  Michael is a theater and film artist born and raised in San Diego. Over the course of the last ten years, he has performed in such diverse cities as San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Boston. Some notable roles that he has played include: Costard in LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, George in STRINGS, and Joseph Grand in Neil Bartlett's stage adaptation of Camus' THE PLAGUE. Most recently, Michael collaborated with the German theater collective Pandora Pop on a devised, mixed-media production focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border wall that had its premiere in Munich last month. Stateside, Michael was last seen performing at the San Diego International Fringe Festival in Elizabeth Coley's CASTAWAYS. He holds an MA in Theatre History, Theory and Literature from Indiana University. Next up: Spooky ArtStops with the San Diego Shakespeare Society at the San Diego Museum of Art in October. Keep up with Michael's projects at: mlrodriguez.squarespace.com.


AMANDA SCHAAR (ROSALIND) New Fortune Theatre: Henry V, The Birthday Party, Les Liaisons Dangereuses.  Prior to Co-Founding New Fortune, Amanda has proudly served as Founding Co-Artistic Director of the youth nonprofit, Into Theatre; Director of Educational Outreach for Southwest Shakespeare Company; Production Manager for Child’s Play Touring Theatre; Executive Assistant for Poor Players Theatre Co., as well as Shakespeare Sedona; and Actor Manager for Phoenix Theatre Educational Outreach. An accomplished writer, dancer, musician and actress, Amanda has appeared in experimental and classical venues around the country. Select credits include: Poor Players: Measure for Measure and Richard II; Sledgehammer: Heaven on Earth; Southwest Shakespeare: As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, Tartuffe, Othello, Two Gentlemen of Verona, London Assurance, Romeo and Juliet; Timeline Theatre Company (Chicago): Pitmen Painters (US Premiere) (Chicago Jeff Award, Best Ensemble), The Front Page (Jeff Nomination, Best Show); North Coast Repertory Theatre; An Iliad (Muse), Perfect Wedding, Odd Couple; Northwestern University; Teatro Caliente Festival; Teatro Bravo; TIMB; Stray Cat; and a National Tour of New Voices. Ms. Schaar is proud to have written extensively for theatrical performance: sketch comedy, syndicated live theatre, performance art pieces (notable: The Black Chicken, Naked with a Banjo, and Pancake of Truth), as well as full-length plays: Rummy Starker Love Fest (Best Avant Garde - EV Trib.) enjoyed completely sold-out runs at ASU and TIMB (Phoenix), and Kill Socrates, A Comedy was recently produced by the Don Bluth Front Row Theatre.


Ms. Schaar is sponsored in part by Anonymous.


RACHAEL VANWORMER (CELIA) New Fortune: Henry V; Diversionary Theatre: Plot Points…Development; The Mystery of Love and Sex, Regrets Only, Birds of a Feather, Speech & Debate, Corpus Christi, Beautiful Thing; La Jolla Playhouse: Froggy (workshop), #SuperShinySara; Cygnet Theatre: Angels in America: Parts 1 & 2; When the Rain Stops Falling, The Vortex, Hay Fever, The Importance of Being Earnest, Travesties, Arcadia, The Matchmaker, The  Little Foxes, Curse of the Starving Class; Lamb's Players Theatre: Babette’s Feast, Ring Round the Moon, Silent Sky, Dinner With Marlene, An American Christmas; San Diego Rep: boom. North Coast Rep: Faded Glory, A Christmas Carol.


And Introducing


XANDER BROWN AS CHARLES THE WRESTLER

 

CREATIVE TEAM

DAN HODGE (DIRECTOR) Dan Hodge returns to San Diego after a decade directing and acting in Philadelphia. A co-founder of the Philadelphia Artists' Collective, one of the city's premier homes for classical theatre, Dan holds an MFA from The Old Globe/USD. He's excited to reunite with Richard Baird, and to work with such a fine array of San Diego theatre artists. As a director for the PAC: Duchess of Malfi, Timon of Athens, Mary Stuart, and the Rape of Lucrece, his one actor adaptation of Shakespeare's epic poem.

GABRIELLE FLANDERS (STAGE MANAGER) Gabrielle Flanders is a first time Stage Manager, actress and theater major at Southwestern College. She has done shows like Romeo and Juliet, and The Addams Family (Southwestern College) and is currently in show for Rest at Onstage Playhouse. She would like to thank the directors for giving her this opportunity to SM and her mother, friends and professors for their support.

Ms. Flanders is sponsored in part by Kelly (Conard) Mack.

CHRISTOPHER M. WILLIAMS (FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY) is an actor, director, producer, stage manager, and fight director. He has been teaching fight workshops and choreographing fights for over 20 years: from slaps to pratfalls, punches to hair pulls, swords to firearms, and duels to epic battles. Some highlights include fights in Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, As You Like It, and a 25 combatant battle with swords and “found objects” in Pirates of Penzance.