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Touchstone

Bay Area actor Chad Yarish, a frequent performer with Shakespeare Napa Valley, plays the role of Touchstone, the fool, in "As You Like It." 

Shakespeare Napa Valley opens its ninth season with a 90-minute, interactive and family-friendly adaptation of “As You Like It” that, according to director Jennifer King, “is guaranteed to pluck at the heartstrings and tickle the funny bone.”

The month-long run of Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy will be performed at three venues in the valley during its month-long run.

“As You Like It” opens at Veterans Park in Yountville with performances at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14, 15 and 16. In Yountville, seating is outside on a first-come, first-served basis. The park does not open for seating until 5:30 p.m You are required to provide your own seating. If you plan to sit on blankets, you are welcome to sit closest to the stage. For those who prefer folding chairs, please ensure that you set up farther back. Admission is free.

Next performances move to the CIA at Copia in Napa on Sept. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. In the Jackson Family Amphitheater at the CIA at Copia, seating also begins at 5:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs will be provided for all patrons who are asked not to bring chairs, food or drink. Food and beverage will be available for purchase at the event. Admission is free.

Performances conclude with an indoor production in the Studio Theater at the Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center on at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 7.This restaged production requires a ticket. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, and military. Visit theaternapavalley.org to purchase tickets. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

“As You Like It” is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, replete with romantic confusion, wicked villains, cross-dressing, and odes to love and nature.

Duke Frederick has usurped the throne of his brother who is living in exile to the Forest of Arden. The elder duke’s daughter, Rosamund, has remained at court because she is best friends with the usurper’s daughter, Ceila, but her lot is not a happy one.

At a wrestling tournament, Rosamund is deeply impressed with one participant, Orlando who also is victim of mistreatment, his by his older brother, the heir of Sir Rowland de Boys.

Orlando, seeing Rosamund, falls in love, but the persecutions of his brother cause him to flee from his home into the forest. At the same time, Rosamund and Celia escape into the forest where they disguise themselves as boys. When Rosamund, now Ganymede, meets the lovestruck Orlando, who is reduced to posting his love letters on trees, she undertakes to counsel him on how to successfully woo a woman, namely, her.

Other rollicking subplots flesh out this story, which includes one of Shakespeare’s more verbose characters, the melancholy Jacques, who delivers the memorable lines that begin, “all the world’s a stage...”

Shakespeare Napa Valley is an auxiliary program of Napa Valley College.

For more information or tickets, call 707-256-7500 or go to www.shakespearenapavalley.org. Napa Valley College is at 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway in Napa.

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