AS YOU LIKE IT: Well-Done

DRAMATIS PERSONAE    

Orlando 1: Jill                              
Orlando 2: Autumn                        
Duke Senior: Jacqui                         
Jaques 1: Jeff                                
Jaques 2: Anthony            

PROPS
  •  For Duke Senior
    • Plastic silverware
    • Paper plates
    • Napkins
    • Pitcher
    • Cups
    • Rag
    • Menu
    • Order pad
    • Pen
  • For Jaques 1 and 2:
    • Mixing bowl
    • Pretend food
    • 2 skillets
    • Spatula
    • Wooden spoon
    • Other cooking supplies
  • For Orlando 2
    • Sword
  • For Orlando 1
    • Bowl with mints in it 

[50s diner setting. Jaques 1 and 2 cook. Duke Senior is finishing taking food orders from two volunteers from the class.

Duke Senior:

So a double Yummyburger, no pickle or mustard, with an order of cheddar fries for the gent, and a chicken strips basket for the lovely lady. And for both of you a double-chocolate Shake-speare. [Gives a big toothy grin as she writes orders down on the pad.] I’ll have your orders out to you in a jiffy!

[She walks to the kitchen and hands the order to Jaques 1, who looks at it and hands it to Jaques 2.]

[Orlando 1 and 2 slowly limp into the restaurant coughing.]

Orlando 1:
I almost die for food –

[Duke Senior runs over to the eyes-downcast Orlandos to make sure they’re OK. Suddenly, Orlando 2 comes to life and draws a sword. Duke Senior squeaks.]

Orlando 2:
And let us have it!

[Orlando 2 whisks her sword back and forth inches away from Duke Senior’s neck. Duke Senior takes a moment to collect herself, then re-assumes her peppy demeanor.]

Duke Senior:
Sit down and feed and welcome to our table.

[Orlando 1 sits and tucks a napkin into her shirt. Meanwhile, Orlando 2 remains standing with her sword pointed at Duke Senior’s neck.]

Orlando 1:
Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you.                                   
I thought that all things had been savage here
And therefore put I on the countenance
Of stern commandment. [Shrugs.] But whate’er you are,
That in this desert inaccessible,
Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time –

Orlando 2:
If ever you have looked on better days,
If ever been where bells have knolled to church,      [Orlando 1 mimics the images 2 mentions.]
If ever sat at any good man’s feast,
If ever from your eyelids wiped a tear,
And know what ’tis to pity and be pitied —
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be,
In the which hope, I blush and hide my sword.

[Orlando 2 sheathes her sword and sits.]

Duke Senior:
True is it that we have seen better days,
And have with holy bell been knolled to church,
And sat at good men’s feasts, and wiped our eyes
Of drops that scared pity hath engendered;

[Duke Senior grabs a water pitcher and two cups from the kitchen. She puts one cup in front of each Orlando.]

And therefore sit you down in gentleness                             
And take upon command what help we have                                               
That to your wanting may be ministered.

[Duke Senior pours water into their cups.]

Orlando 1:
Then but forbear your food a little while,
Whiles like a doe I go to find my fawn,
And give it food.

Orlando 2:
There is an old poor man
Who after me hath many a weary step
Limped in pure love. Till he be first sufficed,
Oppressed with two weak evils, age and hunger,
I will not touch a bit.             

[Both Orlandos push their waters away. Duke Senior squeaks, the water almost splashing her.]

Duke Senior:
Go find him out,
And we will nothing waste till you return.

Orlando 1:
I thank ye, and be blest for your good comfort.

[The Orlandos stand up and head toward the door. Orlando 2 exits, but Orlando 1 hesitates. She walks back and snatches a mint from bowl on the counter, then runs out of the restaurant.]

[Duke Senior goes to the kitchen. Jaques 1 and 2 hand her the plates of food that the class volunteers ordered. She makes a face and hands the plates back to the cooks. Jaques 1 and 2 make faces back at her.]

Duke Senior:
Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy.
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.

[Jaques 1 paces angrily for a moment, then slams his spatula down in disgust. He and Jaques 2 leave their cooking to give a grandiose speech.]

Jaques 1:
All the world’s a stage,

Jaques 2:
And all the men and women merely players.

Jaques 1:
They have their exits and their entrances,

Jaques 2:
And one man in his time plays many parts,

Jaques 1:
His acts being [counts to seven on fingers] seven ages.

Jaques 2:
At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;                              [Jaques 1 pretends to be an infant.]

Jaques 1:
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel                   [Jaques 2 pretends to be a schoolboy.]
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school;

Jaques 2:
And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad                             [Jaques 1 pretends to be a lover.]
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow;

[Duke Senior dashes over to the kitchen because the food is burning.]

Jaques 1:
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,                    [Jaques 2 pretends to be a soldier.]
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,                    
Seeking the bubble reputation                       
Even in the cannon’s mouth;   

[Duke Senior puts out a fire and scrapes the charred remains into a trash can. She appears visibly annoyed at their lengthy speech.]

Jaques 2:
And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capin lined,                              [Jaques 1 pretends to be a justice.]
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.

Jaques 1:
The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,                                                [Jaques 2 portrays old age.]
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward his childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound.

Jaques 2:
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,                                       [Jaques 1 feigns a heart attack.]
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

[Jaques 1 and 2 play dead, their limbs splayed and their eyes closed. Duke Senior slow-claps. Without opening their eyes or getting up, Jaques 1 and 2 flip the bird.]

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