The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Plot for
As You Like It

The plot for As You Like It starts out strong and then seemingly fizzles. Also, some of the scene arrangements don't really flow from one to the other. Sooooo, here's the crazy new arrangement of the plot. Feel free to make notes in your scripts NOW!

·         Jacques recites “All the World’s a Stage” while Duke Senior, Rosalind and everyone of his court watches him
·         “Qué Sera Sera” plays, Duke Frederick’s men usurp Duke Senior
·         Duke Senior is imprisoned; Rosalind is imprisoned; Orlando is stripped of his rank
·         Duke Frederick and Celia take the throne
·         Duke Senior, Jacques and Amiens escape from prison and run off to the Forest of Arden

Some of the scenes are reordered from the original.
Scene numbers are marked at the beginning of the line.

In the court
·         (1.1) Orlando rails against his lot in life, threatens his brother, Oliver, with violence unless he’s given his due
·         (1.1.) Oliver instead conspires with Charles the Wrestler to kill Orlando when Orlando goes to try his fortune wrestling at court
·         (1.2) Meanwhile, Celia tries to cheer up Rosalind who feels her imprisonment at her uncle’s hands – they are cheered up by Touchstone, a fool
·         (1.2) Le Beau, a popinjay courtier, warns the Princesses that the wrestling is going to take place where they’re speaking – the Princesses decide to stay to see it
·         (1.2) Rosalind sees Orlando, ready to win or die, and feels for him, falling instantly in like; Orlando, to his surprise, returns the feelings
·         (1.2) Orlando wrestles with Charles and overthrows him
·         (1.2) Duke Frederick asks who Orlando’s family is and when he learns that Orlando is the son of Sir Rowland de Boys (who stood against him in the usurpation), he’s incensed and orders Orlando to leave at once
·         (1.3) Still furious at being shown-up, Frederick turns his wrath on Rosalind whom he orders from the court on pain of banishment.
·         (1.3) Celia tries to reason with her father, even threatening to leave with Rosalind.  She is unsuccessful in convincing her father to be merciful, and so she plans with Rosalind to run away to the Forest of Arden where Duke Senior is.
·         (1.3) Celia and Rosalind decide to take on disguises as a peasant sister and brother respectively, and they also decide to bring along Touchstone to amuse them on their journey.
·         (2.3) Meanwhile, Orlando returns home victorious but with no victory.  He is met by Adam, his faithful old servant, who warns Orlando that Oliver plans to burn the barn where Orlando sleeps that night and so kill Orlando.
·         (2.3) Adam offers his service and all the money he has saved to fly with Orlando to the Forest of Arden that very night.  They leave.
·         (Created scene) Oliver enters Orlando’s home with guards and torches.  When he finds Orlando gone, he screams inside his cage.

In the forest
·         (Created scene) We are quickly introduced to the natives and refugees in the forest.  Silvius chases after Phebe; Audrey sighs after such a love; Corin laughs at Silvius; Jacques wanders the countryside; Amiens strikes up a song and brings us into the camp of Duke Senior
·         (2.1) Duke Senior tries to rally his men, extolling the virtues of the forest.  He asks after Jacques and sets out to find him.
·         (2.2) Meanwhile back at court, Duke Frederick searches in vain for his daughter and Rosalind, and hears that Orlando has also gone to the forest
·         (2.6) Adam and Orlando enter, Orlando carrying Adam on his shoulders.  Orlando swears that he will find food for Adam, so long as Adam rests.  Orlando sets off.  Adam lies to one side of the stage, or possibly in the audience or behind a frame.
·          (2.4 – Part I) Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone come to the forest, quite tuckered out.  They observe Silvius mooning over Phebe and Corin laughing at Silvius.    Cut after Touchstone says: “And mine; but it grows something stale with me.”
·         (2.5) Amiens enters and sings, enchanting Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone with the beauty of the place
·         (2.5) Jacques enters and makes fun of Amiens.  Amiens warns that the Duke is coming.  Amiens leaves, and Jacques begins to go when….
·         (2.4 – Part II) Celia says: “I pray you, one of you question yond man” and they ask Corin for food.  Corin tells them that the pasture he tends is for sale and the refugees decide to buy it and make their new home there.
·         (2.4 – Adapted) While Celia and Rosalind are bartering with Corin, Jacques and Touchstone meet and have something similar to what Jacques describes in 2.7; they may even have the dialogue.  Before anyone can leave…
·         (2.7 - Adapted) Duke Senior, led by Amiens, comes into the clearing, looking for Jacques.  Celia and Rosalind hide with Corin; Rosalind much affected.  Eventually, Celia drags off Rosalind.
·         (2.7) Jacques briefly tries to hide behind Touchstone, but when he is discovered, he and Touchstone break up the “A fool, a fool!  I met a fool in the forest” speech as a sort of vaudeville routine.
·         (2.7) Duke Senior’s banquet begins just as Jacques is about to eat an apple, when suddenly Orlando bursts into the forest demanding they give him food and brandishing his sword.
·         (2.7)  The Duke and his lords easily avoid his wild blows, Jacques even fighting him with the apple, but at last Duke Senior calms Orlando down and explains who he is and that there is still civility in the woods.  Orlando apologizes and offers his service to Duke, with Duke Senior’s promise that Adam will be cared for.
·         (2.7) Amiens sings, transitioning us into:
·         (3.1) In the court, Duke Frederick has captured Oliver and threatens his life if he does not produce those who have fled to the forest.  Oliver swears that he hates his own brother – a statement which causes Duke Frederick surprising pain, and he is left weeping in the empty frame as –
·         (3.2 – Part I) Orlando, now well-fed, welcomed and given place by Duke Senior has been scribbling verses to Rosalind, whose favour he wears.  In his joy, he rushes about to hang the verses all over the forest, exclaiming: “Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love.” 



In the Forest

·         (Created) Orlando continues hanging verses, which Celia and Jacques both witness
·         (3.2 – Part II) Touchstone attempts to acclimate to country life, but he simply can’t stand it.  He enters into a country mouse/city mouse routine with Corin.  Audrey may wander by and catch Touchstone’s eye (Audrey as Corin’s neice?).
·         (3.2 – Part III) Rosalind and Celia enter, having found Orlando’s verses and they read them.  Rosalind wonders who’s posting love letters to her, and Celia lets spill that it’s Orlando.
·         (3.2 – Part IV) Rosalind and Celia hide as Orlando enters with Jacques.  Jacques is furious at Orlando for harming the trees, while Orlando is incensed that Jacques keeps pulling his love-notes down.
·         (3.2 – Part V) Jacques leaves, and Rosalind decides to meet Orlando in her manly guise, Ganymede.  She convinces him to woo her “as if” she were Rosalind, and he – thinking that Ganymede looks an awful lot like Rosalind – agrees.  All exeunt.
·         (3.2 – Background) Possibly, Oliver sees this scene, or the end of it?
·         (3.3 – Part I) Touchstone attempts to seduce Audrey, since there’s nothing and no one better to do, but Audrey resists, claiming that she’s an honest woman.  Cut at Touchstone’s “Sluttishness may come hereafter.”
·         (Created) Amiens enters with a song heralding Duke Senior and his court’s entrance.  They meet Rosalind and Orlando with Celia as they lovers are about to start their strange courtship.  Orlando bows to Duke Senior and says to Rosalind that he will come that morning.
·         (3.4 - Adapted) Taking Rosalind’s words from 3.4, we see the conversation between Duke Senior and Rosalind.  He asks her what parentage she may be; she says “As good as you.”  Duke Senior laughs and goes with his court and Orlando.  All exeunt.
·         (3.4 – Adapted Transition) Oliver and his manservant Dennis start to leave; Jacques remains behind
·         (3.3 – Part II) Begin at Touchstone’s “But be it as it may be, I will marry thee.”  Touchstone attempts to wed Audrey with Sir Oliver Martext, who may be Dennis, Oliver’s manservant, mistaken in the forest.
·         (3.3 – Part II) Jacques stays behind to watch the fool get married, but is disgusted by this farce of a ceremony and interrupts it, urging Touchstone to learn what marriage is.  Touchstone drags Audrey away.
·         (3.4) Rosalind waits impatiently for Orlando to come to their first wooing session, and Celia voices the concern that Orlando may not actually be in love with her
·         (3.4) Corin enters and to cheer them up suggests that they go see the foolish “love” of Silvius for Phebe
·         (3.5) Silvius moons after Phebe while Corin, Celia and Rosalind watch.  Rosalind, disgusted by the scornful Phebe, berates the shepherdess which turns that hard-hearted woman on.  Rosalind runs away from Phebe’s advances.
·         (3.5) Phebe, undeterred, convinces Silvius to help her win the love of Ganymede/Rosalind.
·         (4.1 – Part I) In running away from Phebe, Rosalind runs smack dab into Jacques (who probably has Dennis in hand, ready to take him to justice with Duke Senior).  Jacques disposes of Dennis (sitting on shim?), and the two have a conversation about whether it’s better to be optimistic or pessimistic.
·         (4.1 – Part II) They part ways, Jacques dragging off Dennis, as Orlando freed from his service to Duke Senior runs on ready for his first wooing lesson.  Oliver and Charles may follow from a safe distance.
·         (4.1 – Part II) Orlando tries to make Rosalind reveal herself as a herself, but Rosalind is determined to remain in charge.  To every romantic notion Orlando has, she offers up a counter practicality.
·         (4.1 – Part III) Suddenly, sure that she has lost Orlando, Rosalind demands that Orlando marry her right then and there, with herself as Ganymede and Celia as the priest.  Orlando is loathe, and Celia refuses, but Rosalind/Ganymede pushes through her strange marriage anyway.
·         (4.1 – Part III) Just before they are supposed to kiss, Orlando pulls away “remembering” that he’s supposed to be with Duke Senior.  Rosalind is upset, but can do nothing.
·         (Created) As Orlando leaves, he is beset by Oliver and Charles, as LeBeau and Frederick look on, and Jacques enters with Dennis in tow.  There is a battle in which Oliver’s life is briefly in danger (from Jacques?  LeBeau?) and Orlando has the opportunity to kill his brother.  However, he chooses to save Oliver instead.  As the brothers are running away, Charles (?) swipes at Orlando and our hero is wounded.  Oliver fights to save Orlando and carries him away, as Duke Senior and his men enter and imprison Charles and Dennis and bear Orlando away.  They leave Oliver alone in the forest.  Frederick and LeBeau may approach Oliver, and he may run away.
·         (4.2 – Totally Repurposed) This scene is typically about Jacques’ being upset at the lords’ deer hunting which was this huge political metaphor at the time.  However, we’re going to have that while Charles and Dennis are in prison together, Charles (threatens to?) slit Dennis’ throat.  Jacques who is on guard realizes this,  Charles admits to doing it, and Jacques orders him to “sing” – e.g., all threats and cloak and dagger and stuff
·         (5.1) But before anything can happen, Touchstone and Audrey stumble into the scene, Audrey upset that Touchstone hasn’t married her yet.  Seeing Charles, she points him out as the “man who loves her.”
·         (5.1) Charles, totally taken off-guard, is challenged by Touchstone who beats up the would-be wrestler, totally impressing Audrey and saving Jacques the need for violence.
·         (4.3 – Part I) Rosalind and Celia tromp in, Rosalind much distressed that Orlando is so late to revisit her.  They are met by Silvius who bears a saucy letter from Phebe, wherein she declares her love for Ganymede and her utter disdain for Silvius.  This is news for Silvius, upon whom Rosalind takes little pity.
·         (4.3 – Part II) Just then, Oliver rushes in with the news of Orlando’s wound.  He is utterly besmitten by Celia (he may have been so before while stalking Orlando) and she is intrigued by him.  On learning that Orlando has been hurt, Rosalind faints, beginning her return to femininity.  She begs to be taken to Orlando.
·         (5.3 - Adapted) Audrey has one final test of Touchstone’s willingness to really marry her.  He arrives to woo her through song, with the help of Amiens and whomever else (Charles?  Dennis?) singing the Fratellis’ “Whistle for the Choir.”  Between his humility, embracing of country life, and softshoe wooing, Audrey accepts Touchstone’s honest proposal.
·         (Created) To the music, Oliver and Celia meet and may join in part of the dance.  Certainly Oliver swiftly wooes her, proposes to her, and they kiss.
·         (5.2 – Part I) Rosalind and Orlando see the sweetness of the two other couples.  Orlando asks Oliver about his strange and sudden change of heart, and Oliver admits that he plans to give up all claims to their shared title.
·         (5.2 – Part II) Rosalind arrives, recovering from her faint, and she and Orlando marvel at their siblings’ sudden love.  They ponder whether they can get married in the state they’re in, and Orlando says that he can no longer live by thinking of her as Rosalind.
·         (5.2 – Part III) Just then, Phebe and Silvius barge in, Phebe demanding that Ganymede love her.  Each lover declares their desire for their beloved until Rosalind stops them all, promising that on the morrow all shall be married and all things made right.
·         (5.3 – Part I) Duke Senior and Duke Frederick, who have been overlooking the previous scenes unseen to one another, are now very affected by their daughters’ loves.  Duke Senior steps forward and speaks with Orlando about Rosalind, suggesting that Ganymede might be Rosalind.  Orlando is hopeful but wary about Ganymede’s transformation.  (This dialogue skips Rosalind’s interruption.)
·         (5.3 – Part II) Rosalind enters, still as Ganymede, and reminds Orlando, Phebe and Silvius of their promises to marry whom she tells them to.  All agree and Rosalind promises to work some enchantment and produce everyone’s loves.
·         (5.4 – Part III) Jacques announces another pair of lovers, Touchstone and Audrey, who have also come to be part of the marriage ceremonies.  Touchstone is welcomed (and knighted?) by Duke Senior.  In place of Touchstone’s silly pratter about the Lie Direct, etc. which is just there to let the girls change their costumes, we’ll have Jacques’ “All the world’s a stage” speech.
·         (5.4 – Part IV) Rosalind re-enters (not with the random god Hymen which just doesn’t go over with this crowd) and Jacques (?) takes Hymen’s words.  Rosalind is restored to herself and reunites with Duke Senior and with Orlando.  Phebe agrees to marry Silvius.  Jacques (? Or Adam or Corin?) act as priest/god and marry the four couples.
·         (5.4 – Part V) Suddenly, DeBeau arrives and declares that s/he is the forgotten sibling of Orlando and Oliver.  S/he brings the news that Duke Frederick has had a complete change of heart (maybe Duke Frederick takes Hymen’s words?  Dunno….) and is giving up the throne to Duke Senior, and is taking up a religious life. 
·         (5.4 – Part VI) Upon hearing this, Jacques declares that he will go with Duke Frederick to take up a religious life as well.  Duke Senior tries to keep Jacques with him, but Jacques challenges Duke Senior to come with them in their religious life, instead.  Duke Senior agrees and while the couples dance, takes his quiet leave, putting the future of the world in the children’s hands.
·         (5.4 – Part VII – Created) The rest of the company celebrate the marriages with a dance.  Duke Frederick reveals himself during the dance, and the brothers make peace before leaving with Jacques.  Rosalind gives up her father, as does Celia.  Everyone exits but Orlando and Rosalind, who must struggle once again with the loss of her father in the face of winning her life.
·         (5.4 – Part VIII) Rosalind pulls herself together to give the epilogue. Orlando is her support as they walk into their future.

The End


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