Shakespearean Role Poses Challenge For Staples Graduate

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Easton's Hannah Dubner will play Rosalind in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" at venues in Stratford and Bridgeport.
Easton's Hannah Dubner will play Rosalind in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" at venues in Stratford and Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Contributed

EASTON, Conn. -- Easton’s Hannah Dubner loves being challenged as an actor, and the Staples High grad is ready for her newest one as she takes on a Shakespearean role.

Dubner, a 2012 graduate of Ithaca College, said she finds her new role intriguing. 

“Shakespeare is booby-trapped with challenges, and laden with risks," she said. "It’s important to first figure out what you’re saying, and then make sure you communicate the story. Actors are storytellers. Our job is to make sure the audience understands and goes with us on the characters' journeys.

"I am grateful for Ellen Lieberman, our fearless director, who brings together a smart, generous group of people who are always willing to explore and dig deeper. It has been extremely inspiring.”

Dubner is  playing Rosalind in the Connecticut Free Shakespeare's performance of “As You Like It” at The American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford from July 30 to Aug. 3. The show will also run at the McLevy Green in Bridgeport from Aug. 6 to 10. All shows begin at 8 p.m.

Admission is free, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets for an enjoyable, outdoor evening. The show is geared toward all ages and according to Dubner, “prior knowledge of Shakespeare is not required.”

Last year, attendance at one show surpassed 1,800 playgoers. More information can be found at www.ctfreeshakespeare.org.

One of Shakespearean's most-esteemed comedies, "As You Like It" includes the well-known speech, “All the world's a stage...” and explores searching for peace and love in the uninhibited forest of Arden.

Lieberman sets the tale in the 1960s, a period perfectly suited to telling this story. Rosalind, the heroine, disguises herself as a young man, Ganymede, so she can get closer to Orlando, the man she loves.  

“Feeling the weight of these words that have been said thousands of times is incredible. It’s like going to a really old church in Italy. By speaking Shakespeare's words, I feel connected to all those that have experienced the stories before me -- it’s amazing to be a part of this lineage,'' Dubner said.

“Though touring and performing in New York City have been rewarding, I'm very grateful to return to the area I grew up in and share this beautiful story,'' she added. 

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