Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Assistant Professor of Theater Mark McGinley has announced casting for the inaugural Appalachian Shakespeare Project production of an Appalachian adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”
The cast includes a mix of LMU students and community members. Kathryn Booher, of Harriman, Tennessee, will portray the heroine Rosalind and Mike Babcock, of Chicago, Illinois, takes on the role of Orlando. Paige Gilbert, of Harrogate, Tennessee, has been cast as Celia while Clayton Baker, of Tazewell, Tennessee, will be Touchstone. LMU student Ashley Smith, of Morristown, Tennessee, will take on the role of Audrey while Joe Johnson, of Harrogate, Tennessee, will play Amiens and Silvius. Sonia Sayani, of Tazewell, Tennessee, will play LeBeau and Phoebe. Dave Jones, of Middlesboro, Kentucky, will play Boss Frederick and Boss Senior. Mark Smith, of Middlesboro, Kentucky, will play Adam and Corin. Oli Sayani, of Tazewell, Tennessee, will play William and Beth Johnson, of Harrogate, Tennessee, will play Jack. Dillon Doss, of Clinton, Tennessee, completes the cast as Charles, Oliver Martex and Jake Du Boys.
The production will run over two weeks at Russell Berkau Park in Cumberland Gap, premiering Thursday, Aug. 13. Performances will take place at 7 p.m. from August 13-15 and August 20-22. Admission is free and audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating.
The Appalachian Shakespeare Project is a part of LMU’s Arts In the Gap summer programming and is made possible through grant funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Dr. Natalie Spar, assistant professor of English at LMU, has adapted the Bard’s classic into Appalachian dialect, translating the dialog and changing the setting to East Tennessee. McGinley, an assistant professor of theater, will direct the production and is the architect behind the Appalachian Shakespeare Project, which he intends to be an annual event.
With the mission to cultivate the arts for the benefit of all Tennesseans and their communities, the Tennessee Arts Commission funds a variety of arts projects through several grant categories. In 2013, through the Tennessee Arts Commission grant programs, $6.3 million was invested across Tennessee in all 95 counties to over 600 organizations, over half of which were schools.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at email@example.com.