Shakespeare on the Prairie

7 p.m. Aug. 6 – 9 at the Prairie Crossing FarmAs You Like It Poster compressed for web

The Citadel Theatre performs Shakespeare’s As You Like It in four beautiful outdoor locations in
Lake County this summer, including the Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake at 7
p.m. Aug. 6 – 9. Tickets are $15/person and are available at the door, or in
advance at http://citadeltheatre.org/shakespeare-returns-lake-county.

“The Citadel Theatre has deep roots in Lake Forest, but is also committed to making live theater accessible to audiences throughout Lake County,” said Scott Phelps, Citadel Theatre Artistic Director. “As a Libertyville resident with family in Grayslake, I’m happy to bring this production ‘home’ to perhaps one of the more unusual venues we’ve performed at – a certified organic farm.”

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a favorite of audiences everywhere. Known as his pastoral comedy, it is perhaps known as much for the famed soliloquy “All the World’s a Stage” or “The Seven Ages of Man” as for its storyline. In the play a duke’s court is usurped by his brother and he, and his followers, flee to the nearby forest. There his supporters; including his jester, other courtiers, his daughter Rosalind and her friends camp out among the country folk and make do with their banishment. In hiding, Rosalind has adopted the visage of a young man, and a new name – Ganymede – and this new appearance leads to a comedy of mistaken identities as a country girl falls for her. The most musical of Shakespeare’s plays, As You Like It features a number of songs which highlight the pastoral atmosphere and the changing of the seasons.

William Shakespeare’s text in this adaptation has been edited to shorten its performance length to 90 minutes without an intermission and make it suitable to be presented outdoors with no set or set pieces except a tree trunk placed in front of a natural forest setting. While Shakespeare’s original play contains several different locations indoors and out, this adaptation has only one outdoor location, the Forest of Arden. This adaptation consists of 16 of the play’s original 22 scenes.

As You Like It is directed by Frank Farrell. Farrell performed as an actor in Goodman Theatre’s As You Like It years ago; and directed Citadel’s outdoor Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream this past summer. Farrell was a founder of Chicago’s first year-round Shakespeare company (Free Shakespeare, 1983) and of Chicago Theatre Hikes (2001) – which pioneered outdoor theatre in the Chicagoland area.

“I enjoy bringing Shakespeare’s performances outdoors each summer because it reminds the actors and audience members that in the 1600’s these works were originally performed outdoors. Many of Shakespeare’s plays, including As You Like It, are set in nature and it’s wonderful to perform them outdoors with fireflies dancing through the air and bullfrogs croaking in the distance,” said Farrell.

Tickets are $15 per person, and free for children under 7 years old. Online ticket sales are available here – tickets will also be available at the door. Please be sure to purchase tickets for your desired date/location – Citadel will also be performing at several other Lake County locations. Not able to attend the performances at the Prairie Crossing Farm? Catch the performance at one of the Citadel’s other Shakespeare Outdoors locations:  7/23 – 26 at Ryerson Woods, 7/30 – 8/2 at Mellody Farm, and 8/13 – 16 at the Stirling Hall Art Center.

Travel chairs and/or blankets are suggested for seating on the Prairie Crossing Farm’s Yellow Farmhouse lawn, along with mosquito repellant. Please feel free to bring your own picnic dinner and bottle of wine to share with friends age 21 or older. The lawn opens for pre-performance picnics at 6:30 p.m. and the performance begins promptly at 7 p.m.

The Prairie Crossing Farm is located at 32400 N. Harris Road in Grayslake, inside the nationally recognized Prairie Crossing conservation community. Despite what some internet maps indicate, Harris Road does not connect to the farm from Route 120. From I-94 North exit Route 120 west, turn south at Route 45, then right at Jones Point Road. Turn right at Prairie Trail, then right at Harris Road. Park on either side of Harris or in the small parking lot next to the Yellow Farmhouse (the second driveway on the left). The performance entrance is at the front of the Yellow Farmhouse.

“While we’re not a cultural arts organization, we look forward to bringing people together to increase appreciation for conservation of our natural landscape and are excited to partner with the Citadel Theatre for these performances,” said Brad Leibov, President and CEO of the Liberty Prairie Foundation. “We’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Prairie Crossing home this year, and welcome audience members to this conservation community that integrates not only residential and natural areas, but the working landscape of a certified organic farm.”

We look forward to welcoming you to the Prairie Crossing Farm for this unique cultural and educational event!

Click here for the As You Like It audition notice for this professional theater production, and click here for Citadel’s theater summer camp in Lake Forest for children ages 6 – 15.