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Washington & Lee University associate professor directs ‘As You Like It’ in New Jersey

Courtesy of Washington & Lee University.

Jemma Alix Levy, associate professor of acting and directing at Washington and Lee University, will direct Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ).

The performances will be held on STNJ’s outdoor stage on the campus of St. Elizabeth University in Morristown, New Jersey, and will runs through July 14, 2024.

“As You Like It” is a five-act comedy written and first performed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

“It’s full of well-known showstopping set-piece monologues and includes some of the most amazing and memorable characters Shakespeare wrote,” said Levy. “I love the characters in this play – their realness, messiness and confusion – because they are us in all our various stages and experiences in life. We look forward to welcoming audiences into their world of silliness, love and hope.”

Levy is a veteran stage director of more than 25 years in both professional and academic settings. She is the founder and former artistic director of Muse of Fire Theater Company and has directed critically acclaimed productions across the U.S. and internationally. Her first experience in professional theater was serving as an intern with STNJ while she was in college.

“Having run a theater company that produced almost exclusively outdoors, I feel at home working in spaces like this,” Levy said. “STNJ didn’t have an outdoor stage when I was last there, so I feel especially privileged with this production to be able to give back to the place my life in the professional theater began. And, of course, it is always a pleasure to get to work with such a talented group of artists.”

Levy has been a member of the W&L faculty since 2014. She earned a bachelor’s in theater and dance from Amherst College, a master’s in humanities from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Shakespeare and performance from Mary Baldwin University. She also completed the three-year, graduate-level Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in stage direction at The Juilliard School, the equivalent to an MFA.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.