All the World’s a Stage: Grade VIII Performs As You Like It

Colin Macdonald '94
Old Boy Colin Macdonald ’94 reviews the eighth grade production of As You Like It, performed on December 12, 2019.

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, a wry and festive comedy first performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men around 1599, was brought to vivid life by St. Bernard’s eighth grade class last week, in a rousing production that delighted the audience.

The atmosphere in Columbia University’s Miller Theatre must have resembled some aspects of the original production, including having the women’s parts played by accomplished boy actors.

Every eighth grader participated in the production, either on stage, as actors and musicians, or offstage, in the crucial work of stage managing.  Stephen Sechrist designed the wonderful scenery, which included a digital backdrop of the Forest of Arden, with the set painting done by Corinne Nelson and the eighth grade.  Eighth grade parent, Nancy S., designed the period costumes, aided by a group of parent volunteers; another group of teachers and parents comprised the make-up team.  Old Boy Bradford Cover ’81 directed for the fourth year in a row, bringing all these moving parts together for “the two hours’ traffic of our stage.”

There could be no better example of the truly collaborative nature of theater.  Congratulations to the eighth grade, and all the designers and volunteers, for a splendid evening that would have made Shakespeare proud.

Colin S. Macdonald, Ph.D., is the managing editor of Renaissance Quarterly, a journal of Renaissance studies.  More importantly, Colin played the role of Le Beau in the 1994 production of As You Like It.