Surfer bums, babes and beatniks part of campus Shakespeare aesthetic overhaul

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A Shakespeare production begins today at Delta College, with the debut of “As You Like It.”

Shakespeare’s works have lasted throughout the centuries thanks to its incredible writing.

No matter how many re-imaginings and twists it takes, the text is still there.
Theatre Director Harvey Jordan has followed tradition and shifted the setting from the English courts and serene forests to the realm of 1960s Mad Men-esque corporate America and beach surfer culture.

He decided to put on “As You Like It” during one of the last performances of Delta’s recent “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” which was also a play on Shakespeare classic,  “The Tempest.”
Jordan said the concept and setting would be college friendly.

The beach films of the 1960s it draws inspiration from were themselves pastoral romances.

“As You Like It” is one of the progenitor romantic comedies, involving multiple love triangles, brothers at odds with each other, wrestling matches, cross dressing and a morally loose court jester.

The piece transfers over with ease with the only logistical problems being in changing all references to the forest  to ones of the beach and ocean.

The story stays about escaping the artifice and noise of the big city to the more laid back simplicity.

It’s a return to nature as it is.

The show plays at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, 8 p.m. Oct. 26-27 and 2 p.m. Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. For more information, call (209) 946-5110.