June 18, 2024

Norm Hones on Honesty and Truth in ‘As You Like It’

Sage Higgins rehearsing for As You Like It. Courtesy of Peter Morse.

By Hannah Deane ’20 & Angelina Ingrassia
Staff Reporter & Managing Editor

The Gordon College Theater Department has opened showings of Shakespeare’s famous play, “As You Like It.” Directed by Norman Jones, this production also happens to be his 50th production while at Gordon.  To further understand the inner workings of the play, The Tartan talked with Jones in hopes of discovering what to anticipate while attending a performance.

Jones began, “One of the premises of the play is that we have certain expectations about what something is going to be like. So it creates a fear or a prejudice or a bias. In ‘As You Like It,’ there is a distinction between the city and the country. The people from the city make assumptions about the people from the country.”

“[The play] feels very contemporary to me. We make these blanket assumptions about other people and it leads to a lack of community and understanding in the world […] The genius of Shakespeare is the way it feels and works emotionally,” Jones continued.

There is, however, more to a production than what meets the eye. Countless hours of hard work goes into unseen aspects of every show.  Jones explained some of the things that went on behind the scenes and some of the students involved in the show.

“I had everybody memorize their lines before Spring Break, so that when we came back we could run the whole scenes. I also work individually with the actors outside of the rehearsal time. During the day I go down to the theatre. There are several times throughout the day where people just come to ask me questions.” Jones stated.

As the director of the show, Jones dedicated unfathomable amounts of hours to making certain the production is the absolute best it can be. When asked about the desire he has in relation to the Gordon Community, Jones said, “Don’t make uninformed assumptions about other people.”

He continued, “Get to know them and listen to them. Don’t be afraid of what may be new. Step in faith and see what’s there. It won’t be easy, but by faith there is an escape not from truth, but from […] the world. It uses love and honesty. People don’t lie to one another if they’re in love. They’re honest with one another. The truth will set you free.”

“Love and truth can set you free, but it also can make you uncomfortable. It takes a while. It’s not an instant change. There’s a certain beauty and delight that happens.” Jones added.

Although “As You Like It” will only be showing temporarily, there is a lot to gain from the production.

Jones concluded, “I think people will enjoy that here’s this contemporary way that Shakespeare is accessible to us. There’s nothing like it. It’s a lovely cast and great crew. There’s a ton of people doing it. All of that is wonderful.”

Shows will be held in Barrington Center of the Arts; April 6, 7 and 10-14 at 7:30 pm with two matiness on the 7 and the 14 at 3:00 pm.  

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