Mechanicals encourage residents to laugh and let go with As You Like It


GRAFTON—For years, the Rustic Mechanicals have been making their way to Grafton to entertain residents and guests with their talented groups of actors. Next Sunday, the traveling Shakespeare group will be making their way back to Toad Hall for a performance that guests are sure to enjoy.

Join Jason Young and the talented members of West Virginia’s premier professional Shakespeare troupe will be stopping in Grafton during their Laugh and Let Go Tour, performing William Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

The show is set to begin at 7:00 p.m., and the performance is being presented for free, thanks to the generosity of All Aboard Grafton and the Buffalo Flats Artists Association.

Follow Rosalind, a feisty but feminine character, as she helps her love interest, under the guise of Ganymede, learn the fine art of wooing a lady.

Bridget Rue Esterhuizen headlines the production in the role of Rosalind.

“Rosalind is funny, smart, creative, fierce, unpredictable, and utterly real,” said Esterhuizen. “She gets to tackle gender norms, love vulnerably, and experience romance, friendship, and being a daughter. She is utterly contemporary, yet written by Shakespeare.”

The romantic comedy will captivate audiences with its wit, sentiment, intrigue and love, as it challenges the traditional rules of romance.

“At its core As You Like It  is a romantic comedy,” said Vintage Theatre Company’s Founding Producer and Artistic Director Jason A. Young. “And while it does explore some deeper philosophical ideas about the importance of slowing down and enjoying life, it is a light, humorous romp through the Forest of Arden; perfect summer fare.”

The additional Mechanicals featured in this production include Callia Byard, Michael Vozniak, Daniel Crowley, Sarah Beth Ealy, Cassandra Noel Hackbart, Sean Marko, Steve McElroy, Jason A Young and Sarah Young.

The show will be directed by Jim Warren with Fight Direction by Cliff Williams, Technical Direction by David Byard, Costume Design by Jason Noland, Hair and Make-Up Design by Samantha Huffman, Dramaturgy by John Shirley and Production Management by Hope Roy and Haley Wilson.

The Rustic Mechanicals, now in their sixth season, have grown from a troupe of seven actors to this year boasting a roster of over forty West Virginia artists. These actors are part of The Vintage Theatre Company, founded in 2012. The company is West Virginia’s professional, non-union, for-profit theatre company.

Young says Vintage is dedicated to providing high quality theatrical education and professionally produced entertainment in West Virginia.

“Our goal is to get out into communities to bring something to an area that might not normally have it,” said Young. “No matter how big or how small we want to be able to get into those communities and bring them those experiences.”

“Grafton has made such an amazing investment in turning their town around that we are truly humbled to be able to bring our work to such a vibrant and alive community,” he added. “It is wonderful to see a place that understands the impact that arts can make on their city, and we are happy to help.”

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