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William Shakespeare’s As You Like It,
A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal

Cliff Cardinal

Presented by NYU Skirball

photos: Dahlia Katz

“Brutally funny and honest.”

William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy As You Like It seems like a bizarre choice for inclusion in an experimental theater festival. That’s only the first of many surprises to be found in the New York premiere of playwright Cliff Cardinal’s radical interpolation of the Bard’s classic story. This timeless tale of mistaken identities, gentle ruses, banishment, and forgiveness takes on an entirely new meaning in the daring new retelling that the Toronto Star calls “sly, funny and charming.” Born on a South Dakota American Indian reservation, Cardinal’s Cree and Lakota heritage deeply informs his take on the play, which centers on the relationships between Indigenous communities and colonial settlers, where both sides continue to struggle to be clearly heard. When the curtains rise, you can be certain that it’s Shakespeare like you’ve never seen before and almost certainly never will again.

“One thing’s certain: this As You Like It is unlike any other production of the play, past or future.”


Friday, January 12 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, January 13 at 3 pm
Saturday, January 13 at 7:30 pm
Run time: 90 minutes, no intermission


NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Pl,
New York, NY 10012


Cliff Cardinal is a polarizing writer and performer known for his black humor and compassionate poeticism. William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal received its world premiere at Crow’s Theatre on September 30, 2021. The engagement was extended twice due to popular demand. The show’s Toronto success led to engagements across Canada. It enjoyed a sold-out run at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver in February 2022; reopened the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton, April/May 2022; played Carrefour International De Théâtre festival in Quebec City in June 2022 and at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) in Ottawa in January 2023. Cliff Cardinal’s multi-award-winning one-man play Huff, which he has performed over 200 times, is a harrowing yet hilarious show about youth who abuse solvents to the risk of suicide. Huff won the Buddies in Bad Times’ Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation; Outstanding Performance and Outstanding New Play Dora Mavor Moore Awards; RBC’s Emerging Playwright Award; The Edinburgh Fringe Festival Lustrum Award (which recognizes the greatest moments at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival); was shortlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award; and received a five-star review in The Guardian Observer titled, “a hard-hitting tour de force.” The play has been published, translated into French, continues to tour, and was released as a podcast by CBC Radio.