Intergenerational cast to joyfully offer up “As You Like It”

The full cast contains over 35 performers, ranging in age from 10 to 84.

Generations of island talent will come together when Drama Dock kicks off its 48th season with Shaina Taub’s acclaimed musical adaptation of “As You Like It,” playing March 22–30 at Vashon High School Theater (VHS).

In total, the full cast contains over 35 performers, ranging in age from 10 to 84, including vocalists from the Vashon Island Chorale and the Vashon Free Range Folk Choir.

Lead performers include high school students Sebastian Gallez (Orlando), Ruby Johnson (Rosalind), CJ Clemmensen (Oliver), Delilah Spence (Celia), Isaac Huff (Silvia) and Amali Lewis (Phoebe), as well as adult actors Maria Glanz (Jaques), Maya Krah (Touchstone), Gabriel Dawson (Andy), Michael Wishkoski (Duke Senior), and Chaim Rosemarin (Duke Frederick).

The production will be directed by Christopher Kehoe (director of Drama Dock’s recent farce, “See How They Run,”), with additional coordination by VHS Theater director Andy James, musical direction by Marita Ericksen, and choreography by Elise Ericksen.

Kehoe, who is also an accomplished actor, described the show as a display of the breadth and depth of Vashon’s theater community.

“It’s pretty stunning to see the full cast assembled onstage,” he said. “You realize how rare it is to see people of vastly different ages working together on a project, as peers. Usually, adults are in some kind of supervisory or teaching role with minors, and retirees can feel disconnected from anyone under the age of 50. But we’ve created a little community here, and the intergenerational aspect is really quite powerful and beautiful to take in.”

Originally written in 1599 by William Shakespeare, “As You Like It” is a romantic comedy following the follies and near-misses of young lovers Orlando and Rosalind.

When Orlando, a young gentleman of the court, falls out of favor with his horrible older brother Oliver and the tyrannical Duke Frederick, he exiles himself to the Forest of Arden. After having only met Orlando for a brief romantic moment, Rosalind decides to follow him to Arden, taking the Duke’s daughter Celia and the court’s jester Touchstone along with her.

Being too nervous to approach Orlando as herself, Rosalind disguises herself as a young man and “coaches” Orlando through his heartache and courtship of Rosalind. Spoiler: all ends happily, with wedded bliss and the crown restored to a more benevolent monarch.

In 2016, the Public Theater in New York City commissioned a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s story, contracting singer and composer Shaina Taub to create an original score. This new “As You Like” was part of The Public Theater’s Public Works program, which presents theater outdoors and free of charge to the public.

Like Drama Dock’s current production, Public Works productions also involve local residents and non-theater community groups throughout the five New York boroughs onstage alongside professional actors.

Taub’s adaptation rearranges and reimages some plot elements and characters from Shakespeare’s original story, including adding more queer romantic relationships to the story.

Variety Magazine called Taub’s adaptation “glorious, delightful and big-hearted” and TimeOut hailed the adaptation as “truly feel[ing] like Shakespeare for — and by — everyone.”

“I love that this musical doesn’t take itself very seriously at all until the very end …” Kehoe said. “What begins as silly and charming slowly gives way to profound meditations on how we live in community, how we choose to see the good in each other, how we forgive, how we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. It’s powerful stuff.”

Kehoe added that it’s not hard to see how living in the Forest of Arden is an easy metaphor for living on Vashon.

“In fact, we kinda lean into that in fun ways,” Kehoe added. “It’s meant to be a celebration of not just any forest community, but this forest community.”

“As You Like” opens Friday, March 22, with six total performances through Saturday, March 30. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $12 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit