Merely Players

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players—but what does it mean to play? "Merely Players" catches Rosalind in the midst of her epilogue in As You Like It, only to then turn the spotlight on Phebe, the lowly shepherd girl who fell in love with Rosalind in drag as Ganymede. Taking place in a single night, "Merely Players" raises questions about sexuality, sonnets,...
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players—but what does it mean to play? "Merely Players" catches Rosalind in the midst of her epilogue in As You Like It, only to then turn the spotlight on Phebe, the lowly shepherd girl who fell in love with Rosalind in drag as Ganymede. Taking place in a single night, "Merely Players" raises questions about sexuality, sonnets, gender, violence, dead deer, and love. It’s a trunkshow with a trunk that’s more than it seems, a show where the men are played by women, and a chance for Phebe to discover what being a player—and being free—really means.
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Merely Players

Recommended by

  • Em Swenson:
    18 Nov. 2019
    I directed this piece, and it is one of the more brilliant pieces of modern theatre I have come across. Katherine was able to take a classic, and write a continuation that not only honored the form of Shakespeare, but also provided a modern lens. The way she approaches gender in Merely Players, which requires a cast of female and/ or non-binary people playing multiple genders, is refreshing and unique. The play somehow manages to explore every type of love: romantic, friendship, and familial; while also allowing each character to have their own personal journey.

Character Information

  • PHEBE
    20s-30s,
    Any race/ethnic identity
    ,
    genderfluid woman
    A shepherdess in the Forest of Arden. Incisive.
  • ROSALIND
    20s-30s,
    Any race/ethnic identity
    ,
    Cis Woman
    A lady of the court, cousin of CELIA. Artful.
  • CELIA
    20s-40s,
    Any race/ethnic identity
    ,
    Cis Woman
    A lady of the court, cousin to ROSALIND, married to Oliver. Keen.
  • ORLANDO
    20s-30s,
    Any race/ethnic identity
    ,
    Cis Man
    A lord, married to ROSALIND. Artless. To be played by the same actor that plays PHEBE.
  • SILVIUS
    20s-30s,
    Any race/ethnic identity
    ,
    Cis Man
    A shepherd boy in Arden, married to PHEBE. Hungry. To be played by the same actor that plays ROSALIND.
  • JACQUES
    20s-40s. ,
    Any race/ethnic identity
    ,
    undefined
    Gentlemen of ROSALIND’s father’s court. Shrewd. To be played by the same actor that plays CELIA

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Women and Theatre Program
    ,
    2015

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Terra Femina Collective
    ,
    2019
  • University
    ,
    University of Kansas Theatre Department
    ,
    2015

Awards

Winner
,
Jane Chambers Student Playwriting Award
,
Women and Theatre Program at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education
,
2015