Taking to the stage

"It's nice to do this in a low-pressure environment, where if we screw up we still eat," said senior Cormac McCarthy, who will play Touchstone, a clown.

"You can have a whole new experience up on the stage," said senior Meghan Seely, who will play Phebe, a shepherdess.

Others, though, feel that performance is a calling and plan to pursue it as a major in college, including junior Brittany Martel, who will play Rosalind.

"I just love acting and singling and all that jazz," she said. "Event though I'm just a junior, it's what I want to do."

"As You Like It" is one of the more musical plays penned by Shakespeare, and was probably written around the same time as other well-known works like "Henry V," "Julius Caesar" and "Hamlet." It also contains the famous monologue, "All the world's a stage."

It's more good-natured than the playwright's heavier, more dramatic works, taking place chiefly in the forest and comprised mostly of the comedic pursuit of love. It's also a lesser-known production, though critics tend to agree it's among Shakespeare's better works.

"It's a popular play for professionals, but for odd reasons it's a difficult play to do with high schoolers," Yeara said, adding that his players have risen to the challenge. "It's a good time, it's a funny play, it's a challenging play and there are some talented kids on the stage."

The troupe picked "As You Like It" by vote. Yeara gives them about 10 choices he felt were within their skill level.

"I personally prefer the tragedy plays, but I wouldn't say this production is better or worse," said McCarthy.

Yeara added a few additional Elizabethan songs to draw upon the musical talents of the Chorus. BHS players will also employ the use of a Maypole on-stage for the final wedding scene that closes the play. The tall wooden pole still found at the center of many western European villages is used in the celebration of Mayday.

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