As You Like It
96-97 Season Season

Designing As You Like It

JACQUELINE J. GIDDENS

Joining director Lawrence Boswell on the As You Like It production team are set and costume designer Angela Davies and lighting designer Adam Silverman. All three are making their Shakespeare Theatre debut, although Silverman and Boswell have collaborating before. Angela Davies position as the designer to watch in Great Britain was secured when London's The Guardian declared " of all the important figures in the theatre now… Angela Davies is perhaps the most significant. Her groundbreaking design work seems set to change the agenda of British Theatre in a profound and wholly welcome way." A member of a growing movement of environmental designers, she combines influences of site-specific work with those of traditional Theatre. Influenced significantly by the work of Brith Gof in old quarries and abandoned industrial buildings in her native Wales, Davies has an affinity for raw materials and uses her designs to bring the audience into the performance. Her design for The Portuguese Boat Plays , a collaboration with David Farr for the Gate Theatre in London used actual raw, rotting, wood pulled from ships, transforming the Theatre into a Portuguese harbor in which the audience was seated in a boat bound for Hell.

For As You Like It Davies and Boswell plan to play on the impact that the world of the structured court and the world of nature have on each other and on those that inhabit these worlds. The court, according to Davies, will be represented by the "featureless, cold, depersonalized world of high fashion architecture," and will be pitted against the natural world that lies outside of its boundaries. The focus will be on "how being in an environment like that would affect the courtiers." Costumes will be neither period or strictly modern. Davies is certain, however, that they "will have their roots in today." The overall feel will be a playfulness with the natural world. She plans to use natural materials for the set designed creating the sensation of the forest for actors and audience alike. "Fun" and "playful" our words she mentions frequently when describing her initial idea for the design, and if Davies' past work is any indication, Shakespeare Theatre audiences are in for a truly memorable trip to the Forest of Arden.

Davies attended Cardiff College of Art before graduating in 1991 with a degree in theater design from Nottingham Polytechnic. While a student, Davies, was one of the founding members of Bruised Beak Theatre Company, whose primary focus was site-specific image based theatre. In 1991, Davies won the coveted Linbury Prize for young designers, and in 1994 she swept the Time Out theatre awards for her designs for Strindberg's The Great Highway at the Gate Theatre, and In The Heart of America at the Bush Theatre. Since graduating, she has designed a variety of productions in Wales and England, and worked extensively in Scotland.

Her most recent work includes theatre and production design for Max Klapper, A Life in Pictures , a mix of film and live theatre, with director David Farr. Additionally this year, she has collaborating with Farr at Almeida Opera Festival on a production of composer Param Vir's Snatched By the Gods/Broken Strings . Other 1996 theatre credits are The Hypochondriac at the West Yorkshire Playhouse Courtyard and Miss Julie for the Actors Touring Company, with directors Toby Jones and Nick Philippou, respectively.

Like Angela Davies, lighting designer Adam Silverman's credits span several theatrical genres. His work has illuminated productions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States and Europe. Theatre credits include Beauty and the Beast at the Young Vic in London (directed by Lawrence Boswell), the premiere of John Guare's Moon Under Miami , Dark Ride with director Julian Webber, Bring in the Morning at the Apollo Theatre, The New Bozena: Winter is the Coldest Season at the Off Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, and The Cover of Life directed by Rick Corley for the American Stage Company. In addition to lighting design for As You Like It , Silverman is also currently working on productions of Il Re Pastore for Boston Lyric Opera, Der Rosenkavalier for Seattle Opera, and La Traviata for the New Israeli Opera.

Projects in dance have included work for Bludance Theatre, Minneapolis Dance Theater, Saint Joseph Ballet, and Compagnie Piedo. Silverman's opera credits are numerous, but among them are the Welsh National Operas production of Faust directed by Christopher Alden and filmed for British Channel Four by Lancia Films. Silverman also worked with Alden on Le Perichole and Orphee , and with L'Opera Francais de New York's productions of Les Mamelles de Tieresias and La Dame de Monte Carlo , all at the Lincoln Centers Alice at the Lincoln Centers Alice Tully Hall.

Jacqueline J. Giddens

9/19/2005

 

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