An apprentice company of 16 young people with theatrical aspirations -- from acting to costume design to directing -- has been assembled by Shakespeare on the Sound in support of its 18th outdoor production, "As You Like It," which will be staged at Norwalk's Pinkney Park June 13 to 30.
The trainees were selected from upwards of 60 applicants who were given auditions to showcase their talents by delivering monologues, singing or presenting concepts for stage design and other facets of behind-the-scenes theater.
Ninety minutes before the 7:30 p.m. nightly curtain for "As You Like It," the apprentices mount a 25-minute mini-production on the same stage, designed especially for younger audiences.
They also appear as understudies and perform smaller roles in the main production of Shakespeare's comic opus, blending soul-stirring gallantry with the dark side and the shameful traits of the human race.
Scott Bartelson, producing associate/teaching artist with Shakespeare on the Sound and a member of a panel that processed the apprenticeship applications, said, "Because we are such a small fraternity, everyone has expansive responsibilities and opportunities for multitasking in areas like our educational activities for students."
Claire Kelly, of New Canaan, the director of "As You Like It," collaborated with Bartelson on the panel that reviewed the applicants, as did Emily Bryan, of Darien, the company's director of education.