R.I.'s Trinity Rep begins its '99 season with a celebration of the 400th birthday of Shakespeare's As You Like It, Jan. 29-March 7, 1999.
Artistic director Oskar Eustis sets Shakespeare's comedy in a modern era, beginning in Duke Fredrick's court -- a darkly intense city where all live by strict rules of politics, gender and hierarchy. Secret admirers Orlando and Rosalind are banished from the court and, separated, flee to the forest of Arden, where hunters, shepards, and exiled nobles live together in utopian harmony.
The cast for As You Like It features Jennifer Mudge Tucker, Eric Tucker, Timothy Crowe, Anne Scurria, Robert J. Colonna, William Damkoehler, Janice Duclos, Phyllis Kay, Barbara Meek, Cynthia Strickland, Fred Sullivan Jr., and Dan Welch. Sets are by resident designer Eugene Lee, costumes are by William Lane, with the entire production set to original compositions by Amanda Dehnert.
Next in the upstairs theatre is veteran Trinity actress Barbara Meek's portrayal of Maria Callas in McNally's Master Class (Apr. 9-May 16, 1999). Meek played one of the Delany sisters in last year's Trinity production of Having Our Say, and her appearance in Master Class is thought to be the first time an African-American actress has played Callas.
For tickets ($24 - $34) or more information on As You Like It, call (401) 351-4242. -- By Sean McGrath