AS YOU LIKE IT continues this weekend (August 16-18) at Mad Violets Wine Company, located at 17425 NE Hillside Drive, Newberg, OR 97132, near Vidon Vineyard and J. Christopher. Food for sale will be provided by Jessie’s Hand Pie Shoppe.


Directions to Mad Violets

To find Mad Violets Wine Co. take NE North Valley Road to Hillside Drive and continue past J. Christopher toward Vidon Vineyard. The driveway to Mad Violets will be on your left.


We need volunteers for the vineyard performances to help direct parking, hand out programs, direct people to their seats, accept donations for the drawing, and help anyone who has a question. To volunteer please contact us by calling 503.583.2190 or by email by clicking on this link: Willamette Shakespeare.

Please make a tax-deductible donation to help us continue presenting free performances in the Willamette Valley. Donations can be matched to the Oregon Cultural Trust for a tax credit. Donate by clicking here. Willamette Shakespeare and Portland Actors Ensemble are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations.


As the 2018 audiences can tell you, the plays in the vineyards are not necessarily done in the traditional manner. This year’s production of As You Like It has as PAE Board Chair Paul Susi said, “an earnest and lovely cast” that has collective charisma and music that will make for a satisfying performance experience for the audience. The music, the lightheartedness, and the winning spirit of a sweet and raucous play will win through.

There is the intentional gender-switching. The text as written is meant to be goofy and earthy and frankly bawdy. In the Audrey/Touchstone scene there are innuendos, which are commonplace in Shakespeare, and a kiss, but expect the unexpected.

The intention in the genderswitching is to highlight how the love and the silliness that our characters experience is universal and relatable to folks of all sexualities and gender identities. To quote a line from the play, “We find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.” 

It is helpful to know that the first woman to appear in a Shakespeare play did so in 1660 – 44 years after Shakespeare’s death. It’s well known that professional theatre troupes in Renaissance England included male actors only, so that the roles of, for instance, Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, and Cleopatra were first played by boys.

Now we must give our vineyard hosts the huge round of thanks they so much deserve. This 2019 production of As You Like It by William Shakespeare opened at Stoller Family Estate on Friday, August 2nd at 7 pm. This is Willamette Shakespeare’s 11th season, and each season has opened at the Stoller venue. This is also the 50th season for Portland Actors Ensemble (PAE). The production moved to Montinore Estates in Forest Grove with performances on Friday, August 9th, Saturday, August 10th, and Sunday, August 11th. This Friday, August 16th, the production will open at a new venue in Newberg. Mad Violets Wine Company will host on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 16th, 17th, and 18th. Performances begin at 7 pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 6 pm on Sunday.

Join us in the pastoral fields this summer as we present a new twist on, coincidentally, the very first production of Portland Actors Ensemble 50 years ago, and the very first production of Willamette Shakespeare 11 years ago.

One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, As You Like It is a hilarious play about the complexities of life and love. Director Sara Fay Goldman takes the Shakespearean classic and adds to its gender-bending plot a further reflection on gender roles, identity, and love.

Last year’s performances of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised) at Stoller Family Estate set new attendance and donation records. Willamette Shakespeare and Portland Actors Ensemble are grateful for your support and for the consistent support of Stoller Family Estate.

A very special thank you to Ronni Lacroute, who supports so much of the arts here in the valley and in Portland. Without her support over the past years, it is doubtful, unlikely even, that Willamette Shakespeare would be here today helping to provide free theatre to all of us.

Production Staff
Sara Fay Goldman (she/her) – Director / Choreography / Adaptation / Songwriter
Molly Shevaun Reed (she/her) – Stage Manager / PM
Gary Strong (he/him) – Producer
Jake Merriman (he/him) – Dramaturg
Myrrh Larsen (they/them) – Music Director / Songwriter
Kimberly Smay (she/her) – Costume Designer
Leslie Renee (she/her or they/them) – Violence / Intimacy Coach
Sam Dinkowitz (he/him) – Set / Props Designer
Paul Susi – Board
Cameron Poehner – Social Media / Marketing 

Catherine “Cat” Louise Miller (they/them/theirs) – Rosalind
Kelsea Ashenbrenner (she/her) – Celia
Alex Blesi (they/them or she/her) – Orlando
Rusty Tennant (they/them) – Touchstone + Jacques
Kate Faye Cummings (she/her) – Olive
Sofia May Molina (she/her) – Adam
Paul Bright (he/him) – Duke Senior/Charles/William
Jacquelle Cherise Davis (she/her) – Phebe / HYMEN
Jacob Beaver (he/him) – Silvius / HYMEN
Mishelle Apalategui (she/her) – Duke Frederique / Corin
Evan Tait (he/him) – Le Beu / Audrey



Stoller Family Estate
 16161 NE McDougall Road, Dayton, OR 97114
Friday, August 2nd, 7 pm
Saturday, August 3rd, 7 pm
Sunday, August 4th, 6 pm 

Montinore Estate
3663 SW Dilley Rd, Forest Grove, OR 97116
Friday, August 9th, 7 pm
Saturday, August 10th, 7 pm
Sunday, August 11th, 6 pm

Mad Violets Wine Company
17429 NE Hillside Dr, Newberg, OR 97132
Friday, August 16th, 7 pm
Saturday, August 17th, 7 pm
Sunday, August 18th, 6 pm 

We hope to see you at one or more of the performances. Bring jackets, blankets or chairs, and a picnic, or purchase food at the venues. As always, the events are free and open to the public. No outside alcohol is permitted, but each winery will sell its own wine by the glass or bottle. 


Sara Fay Goldman directs As You Like It. Under Sara’s direction the audience is in for a treat. The setting may seem familiar. Fluidity and shifts in dress and gender is a theme. Watch for mimicry of the traditional theatrical forms of Shakespeare’s day, one of Shakespeare’s themes. There might be a feminist twist. See if you can identify the music and spot the visual puns. Expect the unexpected.


As Sara said, this production should be a good time and leave us with a sense of hope for building compassionate, inclusive communities. The play is all about love, after all.


We encourage you to join our MAILING LIST or FACEBOOK PAGE to stay up-to-date on all Willamette Shakespeare news.

You can watch a video of another performance of this play by clicking on the link below, although the characters in this version are a bit wooden or, should I say, plastic:

Click Here

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us keep classical theatre free in the Willamette Valley. Donations can be matched to the Oregon Cultural Trust for a tax credit.


 Special highlights

Rusty Tennant (Touchstone + Jacques) 

Rusty Tennant, the Artistic Director of Fuse Theatre Ensemble, has an MFA in Directing and Performance from the University of New Orleans.


Selected Regional Credits: Directing:The Reason for the Season (Director, Artists Rep), Ten Chimneys (Asst. Director, [Dámaso Rodriguez, dir.] Artists Rep), A Streetcar Named Desire (Asst. Dir., Fight Choreographer [Jon Kretzu, dir] Artists Rep). As an Actor: Carousel (Gary English, dir. Connecticut Rep), House of Plunder (Ryan Rilette, dir. Southern Rep), Mother Courage (Robert Benedetti, dir. Nevada Conservatory Theatre).


Recent Portland productions: Directing: Cabaret (Seven 2019 Drammy Awards including: Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Direction), Sordid Lives, Stupid Kids, Under the Influence (Director, OUTwright/Fuse), King Lear (Director, Post5), Rope (Director, Bag&Baggage), The Last Days (Director, Post 5), Sonnetscape (Director/Performer, Fuse), Suburban Tribe (Co-Director, Fuse), Tether (Director, Fuse). As an actor: The Importance of Being Frank, Richard III (Buckingham, Post5), HenryIV 1 (Falstaff, Post5), A Midsummer Night’s Somnambulism (Bottom, Fuse).


Rusty serves as the Technical Director at Reed College and is a regular adjunct faculty and guest artist at multiple local colleges and universities. They are also the Producing Artistic Director of The OUTwright Theatre Festival, a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ contribution to theatre that is held annually in Portland, OR.  They have won Drammy awards in directing and design, a Storer Boone Award for directing, and an OOBR award for performing in The American Globe’s Hamlet. 


Kate Faye Cummings (Olive) 

Kate Faye Cummings is honored to be performing Shakespeare for the first time during PAE’s 50th season. She has performed with several other companies around town, including in FUSE Theatre Ensemble’s productions of Cabaret and Pursuit of Happiness, Funhouse Lounge’s Die Hard: The Musical Parody and Back to the Future: The Musical Parody and Post5’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Kate Faye also performs improv, and works backstage as a stage manager and director. She moved to Portland in 2015 and is so happy to have found a home amidst the vibrant arts community here in the City of Roses. 


Paul Bright (Duke Senior/Charles/William) 

Paul Bright recently performed for Pulp Stage, Public Citizen Theatre, The OUTwright Theatre Festival, ripped his shirt off in Eleanor O’Brien’s Sex We Can, and was an unrepentant cult member in IFC’s Documentary Now Batsh*t Valley. He is the managing director of OY! (Oregon Yiddish Theater!) and the writer/director of eleven feature films. He invited his cats to enjoy this play but they’re troglodytes and refused to leave the goldfish tank unguarded. 


Jacquelle Cherise Davis (Phebe / HYMEN) 

Jacquelle Davis was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She studied acting at Willamette University. She is a proud member of Theatre Vertigo. Jacquelle performs regularly with her beloved improv group No Filter Improv. You may have seen her recently as Lost Boy in Peter/Wendy at Bag and Baggage Productions and Haskell in The Delays at Theatre Vertigo. Her favorite roles include Jane Fonda in That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, and Box Worker 2 in Box. Jacquelle would like to thank Sara Fay for the fierce vision and open communication, Molly for the hard work and grounded spirit, and the entire cast for playing the “no but you can touch my elbow” game. Jacquelle loves long baths, and pickles and impromptu dance parties. She hopes you sit back and enjoy the magic as you trip the Light Fantastic. 


Jacob Beaver (Silvius / HYMEN)

Jacob is a 2017 Portland Actor’s Conservatory graduate and is super excited to be making his debut at PAE! He’s so happy to get to work with some amazing, talented, and genuine people in this production and he’s grateful for this opportunity. 


Mishelle Apalategui (Duke Frederique / Corin) 

Mishelle Apalategui is a writer, actor, voice over artist, thrifter, immigration paralegal and mother to her sweet Inigo. This is Mishelle’s debut with Portland Actors Ensemble and is thankful to DIrector Sara Fay for the opportunity. She was last seen as Cordelia/Burnt Reed in The Reformer’s production LER. Previous to that, she spent many years on storefront stages in Chicago where she playd such roles as Peter Pan, Christopher Robin, Nora and Ismene. You can see her monthly at the Old Church Concert Hall as an actor with Tesla City Stories, where she plays Betsey Harper and a myriad of 1940’s radio play characters ( Follow her instagram (@cubicle_creep) where she documents life in a cubicle when you’re also an artist and mother. She dedicates her performance to her one and only, Owen.


Evan Tait (Le Beau / Audrey) 

Evan is incredibly excited to be a part of PAE for the first time! His love of Shakespeare spans many years, and As You Like It is one of his favorites. Other companies he’s worked with include Broadway Rose, Lakewood, Live on Stage, Stumptown Stages, and Staged! Musical Theatre. He wants to thank Sara Fay, Molly, the whole cast and creative team, and his family. Enjoy the show! 


Kelsea Ashenbrenner (Celia)

Kelsea is new to Portland after commuting from Corvallis, Or for the last year. She’s an OSU theatre grad that loves teaching youth acting classes. She’s been seen doing summer Shakespeare with Original Practice Shakespeare Fest and Experience Theatre Project. She’s very excited to be playing Celia this summer with PAE. This upcoming year she will be a part of the 2019 ICP actor training cohort with Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble. Follow her on Instagram @kelsearose15. 


 Alex Blesi (Orlando) 

Originally from Minnesota, Alex is thrilled to be out here in Portland working with PAE on this fascinating show! They recently finished school at Portland Actors Conservatory and has their BFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Some previous roles include: Evil in “Everybody” at Artists Repertory Theatre and Mrs. Shears and other characters in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” at PAC. They hope they are able to bring the joy of this story and the complexity of gender identity to audiences who may not normally get the chance to experience live theatre.


Catherine “Cat” Louise Miller (Rosalind) 

Cat is incredibly stoked to be working with Portland Actors Ensemble for the first time. A native of Boise, Idaho and a graduate of Portland State University (BA, Theater Arts), Cat has been wearing a variety of theatrical hats around the Portland area for the last several years. This is Cat’s second time working with director Sara Fay Goldman; the first time being last year’s The Taming AND the Shrew: A Kind of History. Cat wants to thank Sara Fay for the challenge of filling Rosalind’s shoes, and PAE for the opportunity to partake in this rich Portland tradition.


 Molly Shevaun Reed (Stage Manager/PM) 

Molly is a multidisciplinary artist who feels most herself directing for the stage and committing acts of dramaturgy. Molly has thoroughly enjoyed production & stage managing PAE’s As You Like It with Sara Fay and this lovely cast.  Her recent stage management work has been at Portland Center Stage for their 2018-19 season as an apprentice stage manager, and at Spectravagasm X.  Also a director, she loves the classics as well as developing new work, most recently Endless Oceans by Corey Maier performed at Backdoor Theatre.  Originally from Denton, Texas, Molly holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Baylor University and has worked in Dallas, TX and Portland, OR stage managing, directing, and wearing many theatrical hats.  Molly also enjoys the fiction of Flannery O’Connor, communing at the coast, and hanging out with her partner Cam and their corgi mutt, Bear.

Paul Susi, Board Chair
Portland Actors Ensemble

Paul Susi is an educator, activist, arts administrator, and a performing artist. Paul has worked as a youth counselor and an educator at several Portland nonprofit organizations serving homeless, recovering, post-incarcerated, and adjudicated populations. He has appeared onstage with Boom Arts, Profile Theater, Shaking the Tree, Push Leg, Anon It Moves, String House Productions, Action/Adventure Theater, Los Portenos, Cerimon House, Northwest Children’s Theater, Working Theatre Collective, Contagious Theater, defunkt, Milagro Teatro, Hand2Mouth Theatre, and The Forgery. Paul has appeared regionally and internationally with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Vermont Stage Company, Island Stage Left, and Poland’s Stacja Szamocin. He has worked on several projects supported by the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Most recently, Paul co-founded The Color of Now, a live discussion series focusing on race and privilege in Portland, and served as Lead Shelter Host and shift supervisor for the innovative Peace Shelter, supervising 4 staff and 100 self-identified men experiencing homelessness in downtown Portland.

Paul’s vision for and his respect of the history of this company will see PAE well into its 50th season, and beyond.  Paul, who is an accomplished artist and vital voice for the arts in the Portland community, was recently recognized for his extensive contributions by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Please click the link below for a glimpse of Paul’s vision and some of the other theater honorees:

In addition to his artistic contributions, Paul has many other passions and projects that make his voice vital in our community and an excellent match for PAE. Paul is a tireless advocate for the houseless and the marginalized through his involvement in the Transition Project and Street Books. His leadership in the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project invites us to engage in deeper conversations as community members about important topics such as education, home, and diversity.


In Paul’s own words:


“PAE/Shakespeare in the Parks has long been many things to this community. For many audiences, we’ve offered them their first experiences with live theater and with Shakespeare. For many actors and artists, we’ve been important milestones in their careers and ambitions. Above all, we’ve been a living commitment to free and equal access to our common cultural heritage, no matter how privileged or marginalized you may be, and this continues to be the keystone of our mission in this vibrant, glorious community.

“I am so proud and honored to lead this fantastic organization, particularly as our community continues to experience profound change and growth. As an artist of color, a native Portlander and as someone who cares deeply about Shakespeare, I’m so, so excited for the opportunity to promote a broader, unexpected vision of these works, and to highlight how they speak to our turbulent now. When so many other companies have diminished or disappeared altogether, free, “poor” theaters have endured beyond anyone’s expectations. We are resolved to build on this generous heritage, and to pursue greater rigor, excellence, professionalism, and daring innovation, than ever before.
“I strongly encourage anyone who’s ever felt left behind or silenced to join us in fulfilling this mission. We welcome all of our devoted, loyal audiences, and all of you newly discovering outdoor theater. To paraphrase a little-known poet, our love for you is as boundless as the sea, and as deep. The more we give to you, the more we have, for both are infinite.”


2019 – As You Like It
2018 – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
2017 – The Winter’s Tale
2016 – Love’s Labour’s Lost
2015 – The Taming of the Shrew
2014 – Twelfth Night; Romeo & Juliet
2012 – Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles
2011 – All’s Well That Ends Well
2010 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
2009 – As You Like It

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