The School of Drama at UNCSA presents the musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy
“As You Like It” by Shaina Taub and Laurie Woolery, Nov. 9-18. In a first for UNCSA, the production will feature members of several
local community groups – including Greater Vision Dance, the Winston-Salem Street School and The Enrichment Center – as part of the cast and crew, and images of murals by local artists as part of
its set. The 25 community members, ranging in age from elementary school to retirement,
will play a variety of roles in the production, which will be set in modern day Winston-Salem.

Performances are Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 9-11, and Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 16-18,
at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. in the Freedman Theatre on the campus
at 1533 S. Main St. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for non-UNCSA students with valid
ID online or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945.

The production is presented with support from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the
Arts, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

“As You Like It” rendering by Design and Production student Nathan Bowden

Directed by Drama faculty member Andy Paris with musical direction by Jennifer Peacock, the musical adaptation of “As You Like
It” was originally commissioned by New York City’s Public Theater and named one of The
New York Times’ “Best Shows of 2017″ and Critic’s Picks. It is an example of the theater
company’s Public Works initiative, which invites community members to “join in the creation of ambitious
works of participatory theater,” and “deliberately blurs the line between professional
artists and community members, creating theater that is not only for the people, but
by and of the people as well.”

Emmy-nominated writer, actor and director Paris teaches devised theater in the School
of Drama. Taub, one of the co-adaptors of “As You Like It,” is a former student of

“In the School of Drama, we are always looking at industry trends,” Paris said. “We
want to give our students skills now, so that they can be ready for the future of
American theater. How is the industry changing? Right now, many theatrical institutions
have lost their connection to their communities; younger audiences aren’t finding
community in their local theaters. People want to be involved. They want to exercise
their creativity.”

“As You Like It” rendering by Design and Production student Nathan Bowden

Paris said he hopes that this production will mark a change toward more inclusion.
“It is amazing to have this kind of span of generations in the room. The students
seem to be enjoying it.”

Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts Executive Director Kevin Bitterman said, “As we move forward from the isolation created by the pandemic, the Kenan Institute
for the Arts is committed to enhancing campus-community connections through the arts
as a vital step in building stronger, more resilient communities across the state
of North Carolina, and beyond.” 

Featuring an original folk-pop score by Taub, “As You Like It” includes songs including
“Still I Will Love,” “The Man I’m Supposed To Be,” and “Will U Be My Bride.” Iconic
lines like “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women only players” are set
to joyful music in Taub and Woolery’s adaptation.

“As You Like It” rendering by Design and Production student Nathan Bowden

The plot is familiar: Characters including Rosalind, Celia, Touchstone and Orlando
flee Duke Frederick’s kingdom and enter a woodland world where they and other refugees
get lost but find out who they are. In the process, they are transformed and healed,
and “they learn to become more caring, loving and empathetic humans,” according to

“We chose contemporary Winston-Salem as the setting to offer it as a microcosm of
the society that we live in at large,” Paris said. “The scenic design draws a line
between the wealthy business and political world and the world of people who are more
connected to the land and each other.”

Scenic designer Nathan Bowden, a fourth-year School of Design and Production student
from Orange County, California, researched his setting by exploring Winston-Salem
on foot.

“Luckily, I took a watercolor painting class from John Coyne, a scenic design professor. The way I incorporated the city into the set design is
I would walk around and make watercolors to create a visual language,” Bowden said.
“I developed a unique color palette. The play takes place in the village and the forest,
and we found ways to merge the city and the plant life in Winston, the kudzu and the
trees giving way to a mishmash of architectural styles.”

“As You Like It” rendering by Design and Production student Nathan Bowden

Bowden and his crew contacted some local muralists, including Nico Amortegui and Dennis Wells, to get permission to use their images in the set.

“The main thing that came from all this exploring and research is that there are so
many different kinds of architecture and building materials in the city,” Bowden said.
“The set is a cultural collage of pieces of the city. It’s great being able to look
at these various sculptural units and be able to see the city in it. I really fell
in love with the variety of styles that are here.”

The show runs 90 minutes with no intermission.

About Andy Paris

Andy Paris has made a career of developing new works for the stage and screen, including
HBO’s Emmy-nominated “The Laramie Cycle”; “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials Of Oscar
Wilde” by Moises Kaufman; “Or,” by Liz Duffy Adams; Lucie Tiberghien’s “The Quiet
Room”; Ripe Time’s “Innocents” directed by Rachel Dickstein; The Talking Band’s “The
Necklace”; Matthew Maguire’s “Phaedre”; and Deb Margolin’s “Indelible Flesh.” 

For UNCSA, he directed “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Inheritance.” Paris wrote
and directed “Uncommon Sense,” co-written with Anushka Paris-Carter; “The American
Family” at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival; “The Fanmaker’s Inquisition,” co-adapted
with Paris-Carter from the novel by Rikki Ducornet; “Goldstar Ohio,” which he directed at
The Cleveland Public Theatre; “Migration” at the Experimental Theatre Wing at New
York University; Faith Pilger’s “The Stages Of Burning; Going Public,” at Amherst
College; “Momentum” at the Western Australia Academy for the Performing Arts; and
“The Corporate Carnival,” for The Women’s Project, in which he also performed at the
Winter Garden in the World Financial Center.

Paris has performed in countless other plays in New York, regionally, and in Europe. Regionally,
he has been seen at Denver Center, The Huntington, Playmaker’s Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse,
Rep. Theatre of St. Louis, Hartford Stage, Theatre Virginia, Berkeley Rep and La Jolla
Playhouse. His favorite roles include Berowne in “Love’s Labours Lost”; Keppler in Richard
Goodwin’s “Two Men Of Florence,” directed by Edward Hall; and all of the male roles
in “A Sleeping Country,” by Melanie Marnich, directed by Mark Rucker.

Film and television credits include HBO’s “The Laramie Project” and NBC’s “Law & Order.”
He has also been the recipient of three Audie Awards and a Voice Arts Award for his
audiobook narrations. Paris is the owner of Voiceworks Audio and currently teaches
devised theater at UNCSA.

About Jennifer Peacock

A pianist, educator and music director originally from Indiana, Jennifer Peacock spent
four years as a faculty instructor and music director for musical theater on the faculty
at Penn State University. She has also served vocal director for Royal Caribbean Cruiselines
since 2016. Her credits include musical direction for Joe Iconis’ “Punk Rock Girl”
at The Argyle Theatre. She received a B.M.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle,

About Greater Vision Dance Company

Greater Vision Dance Company (GVDC) is a concert commercial dance-based company focused
on both technique and performance. The vision of the organization is to enlighten
and expand societal views in all areas of dance. Their mission is to increase the
community’s exposure to and appreciation for the performing and visual arts through
affordable classes, workshops and performances along with other opportunities.​ The
company has participated in conventions and workshops in Winston Salem, Greensboro,
Charlotte, Atlanta and Long Beach. GVDC also provides free performances to the Winston-Salem

About the Winston-Salem Street School

The Winston-Salem Street School (WSSS) is a private alternative high school serving
the at-risk youth of the Greater Winston-Salem area. It is designed to meet the needs
of students who struggled in traditional schools due to academic or behavioral obstacles;
many of them were expelled or dropped out. The WSSS was created to target these students
and offers them the chance to earn a diploma recognized by the state of North Carolina.
WSSS focuses on assisting students who are the most at-risk of not graduating from
the public-school setting. By doing so, the WSSS plays a critical role in reducing
the yearly average of students who drop out of the Forsyth County Schools. Nearly
300 students have graduated from the program with their diplomas in the past 18 years.
The school was founded by David Morgan in 2004, who modeled it after the Denver Street
School. It is a member of the National Association of Street Schools. WSSS is governed
by community leaders through a board of directors.

About The Enrichment Center

The Enrichment Center (TEC), a nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of adults
living with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). Started 40 years ago
in 1983 by a group of parents who were concerned about their children transitioning
to life after high school graduation, TEC was established to cultivate the creative
talents of individuals in an adult setting by providing a unique arts-based day program
and supporting them in learning basic life skills. From this, the Gateway Gallery
was established to show and sell the art created by participants, empowering them
to express themselves and enabling them to earn a paycheck. All artists receive 50%
of their sales and 50% is allotted back to a fund that is used to purchase their art

Although rooted in the arts, TEC also assists individuals with exploring vocational
opportunities through the Supported Employment program by providing job coaches during
the training and acclimation phase. Individuals who can navigate the community more
independently are supported by one-on-one personnel through the Community Supports

TEC is located in a 65,000 square-foot building in historic, downtown Winston-Salem,
an up-and-coming area that is focused on the arts and is home to a variety of restaurants,
boutiques and nightlife. Over the next year, TEC is hosting 40 accessible events celebrating
40 years of supporting IDD individuals in the local community.

About the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts was established in 1993 to strengthen the
arts by initiating and incubating new ideas within the various constituencies and
settings of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). By leveraging
the extraordinary talents and creative energies of students, faculty, staff and alumni
to bring distinction to UNCSA, the Kenan Institute acts as a springboard to the broader
creative community. For more information, visit

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