Spring Play "As You Like It"
Spring Play 2018 "As You Like It"
Posted on 04/27/2018
"As You Like It"

Opens on May 4th and plays on May 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th at 7:00 pm. A matinee on Mother’s Day, May 13th will start at 2:30 pm.  Admission prices range from $10.00 for adults to $3.00 for children 12 and under.  All proceeds fund future productions at PTHS. 

As You Like It
by W. Shakespeare

Spring Play at PTHS

The classic pastoral comedy, As You Like It by William Shakespeare, will open May 4th at Port Townsend High School. The plot centers around a young noblewoman, Rosalind, as she flees persecution in her aunt’s home to find safety and, eventually, love in the Forest of Arden. In this production, director Jennifer Nielsen has chosen to set the play in the American West in the early 1800’s, so instead of forest, the runaways end up in the “desert of Arden”.  Adapting the play to the new setting has proven to be easier than expected, according to Nielsen who explained that, “the themes of love and longing are universal and the comedy works almost anywhere.” The addition of music and dances has further enhanced this production.  With familiar songs like “Who Wrote the Book of Love”, “Dream Lover” and “Honeycomb”, cleverly adapted by Linda Dowdell, audiences will be humming along and tapping their toes.

Rosalind, who disguises herself as Ganymede, is played by senior Cece Nielsen, who most recently appeared in the fall play as “The Maniac”.   Rosalind’s cousin, Celia, will be played by Galia Roman who last appeared on the PTHS stage as the evil sister Alice in “The Heart of Robin Hood.”  The young gallant Orlando is played by Bodie Labrie and Finn O’Donnell plays his evil brother, Oliver.  In the forest, they encounter a variety of memorable characters, notably the melancholy traveler Jaques (Jacqueline) played by Sorina Johnston, who speaks many of Shakespeare's most famous speeches (such as "All the world's a stage…"). Jaques provides a sharp contrast to the other characters in the play, always observing and disputing the hardships of life. Other student actors include Pierre Ballou, Katherine Eldridge, Brooke Hageman, Violet Moell, Odin Smith, Zinnia Hansen, Cyan Adams, and Nylah Garling. The backstage crew includes Rosalyn Salmon, Monica Chairez-Molina, Lily O’Shea and Anouk Kaiser. 

The band is led by musical director Linda Dowdell on piano and senior Clover Coupe-Carlin on drums. In addition many of the student actors join the band for particular songs during the show. Bodie and Finn play fiddles, Violet plays the stand-up bass, Odin plays the cello and Sorina the guitar. 

Dance choreography for the show has been handled by Angela Gyurko and stage combat choreography has been enhanced by contributions from Tomoki Sage.  The set was designed by Nielsen and her daughter Cece and built by Jim Guthrie and members of the cast and crew.  The lighting design is by Steve Arbuckle and the hair and make-up design is by Angela Agnew. 

This show marks the 30th and last production which will be directed by Jennifer Nielsen at PTHS.  She has decided to explore other options and while she will most likely still be teaching English, she has decided to turn over the reins of the drama program to someone else.  She explains that, “I’ve produced every show that was ever on my to-do list and had a great time doing it, but I’m ready for a new adventure.”  She has been directing at PTHS for nearly 15 years and has produced a wide variety of shows from one-act absurdist plays to major musicals like “Urinetown” and “CHICAGO”.  The most fulfilling part of educational theatre, according to Nielsen, is seeing the growth in students from freshmen to senior year. “The growth in confidence and leadership students experience is amazing to observe.”  Many students who went through the program have found success in the arts including one who is writing for a comedy network, one who is directing films, one who appears on Comedy Central show and others who contribute to live theatre and music in their communities from Portland to New York.  

Her last show, “As You Like It” opens on May 4th and plays on May 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th at 7:00 pm. A matinee on Mother’s Day, May 13th will start at 2:30 pm.  Admission prices range from $10.00 for adults to $3.00 for children 12 and under.  All proceeds fund future productions at PTHS. 

Please contact the director, Jennifer Nielsen, at or 360-344-3021 if you have any questions.