Tri-State Theater

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Friday, February 05, 2016

"As You Like It" Interview with Mike Naglee

   You have one last chance to catch Shakespeare’s As You Like It this Saturday night at Huntington’s Renaissance Theatre - and we have one final interview with the cast to share with you.

    So let's hear from the amazingly talented Mike Naglee, who is very physical - and very funny - playing the part of the lover and the fighter named Orlando.
Q: Tell us about Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Mike: After a brief meeting in which they are mutually smitten with one another, Rosalind and Orlando are separately forced to flee the kingdom for their lives into the forest of Arden - taking refuge from the vengeful Duke and Orlando's fratricidal brother. Rosalind, disguised as a man, leaves the kingdom with her cousin Celia and the court Fool, Touchstone. Orlando is accompanied by his family's servant, Adam. Once in Arden, the runaways find other noble exiles and plenty of common folk, all with their stories to tell - the banished former Duke, lovesick Silvius, vain Phoebe, melancholy Jaques, hardy Corin, stout William, wayward Audrey, a trio of minstrels, and more. After much chicanery, hoodwinking, and a literal deus ex machina, everyone comes together in the end just in time for things to turn out exactly as they like it.

Q: How does the show relate to modern-day audiences?

Mike: Love, villainy, and being a fool for both are pretty timeless. As You Like It is one of Shakespeare's more accessible plays, and quite subversive for its time - Nobles marrying commoners and abandoning their titles, ignoring primogeniture, strong female characters that expertly maneuver the men around them... cool stuff.
Q: Tell us about the character you play.

Mike: I play Orlando, youngest son of the late Sir Roland de Boys. My elder brother has taken my inheritance, and bars me from courtly and educational pursuits in order to keep me powerless. I'm furious, but if I show too much backbone, who knows what lengths he'd go to...

Q: What's your background in theatre?

Mike: Usually a sort of warm wash on the cyc, with the occasional gobo.... I kid, I kid. :) I've a BFA in Theatre from Marshall and have been an ARTS Company member since its inception. I love this stuff. 

Q: Tell us about the cast.

Mike: They're the most fantastic, talented, professional, dedicated and loving bunch of scoundrels and beauties you'll ever meet. Each and every one of them is THE BEST.

Q: Why did you want to be part of this show?

Mike: See above. Also - It's Shakespeare! And with this director? I'll do Shakespeare in a volcano if it's with Mike Murdock.
Q: Why would you recommend this show?

Mike: It's an entertaining and accessible Shakespeare comedy with all the fights, fools, love, leather pants, and shenanigans you could want... why are you still reading?! Get your tickets!

Q: And how do you like it?

Mike: Exactly like this.

   Thanks, Mike!

   As You Like It by William Shakespeare will be presented at the ARTS Renaissance Ballroom at 900 8th Street in Huntington on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for the show only, and $30 for dinner and show - for dinner, you must make a reservation by calling 304-733-2787.

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