Lady in Waiting
Sir Oliver Martext
Ladies in Waiting
Lords, Attendants and
Scenery and Costumes by
Incidental Music Written
and Arranged by
Production supervised by
Theatre Guild Inc.
Cort Theatre - New York
Premiere: January 26, 1950-March 3, 1950
and on tour
Conventional Hall (November 22-23, 1950)
Orpheum Theatre - Kansas City - Missouri (November 27-29, 1950)
Curran Theatre - San Fransisco - California (December 26, 1950-)
The heroine, Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke falls in love with Orlando the disinherited son of one of the duke's friends. When she is banished from the court by her usurping uncle, Duke Frederick, who threatens death if she comes near the court again. Rosalind switches genders. Celia, being Rosalind's best friend, goes with Rosalind (who is disguised as a boy, Ganymede) and Touchstone, the court's fool, to the forest of Arden, where her father and his friends live in exile.
Observations on life and love follow (including love, aging, the natural world, and death) friends are made, and families are reunited. By the play's end Ganymede, once again Rosalind, marries her Orlando. Two other sets of lovers are also wed, one of them Celia and Orlando's mean older brother Oliver. As Oliver becomes a gentler, kinder young man so the Duke conveniently changes his ways and turns to religion and so that the exiled Duke, father of Rosalind, can rule once again.
Richard Connema - San Francisco
"One of the greatest memories I have of the play is of the brilliant Katherine Hepburn playing Rosalind to William Prince's Orlando at the Cort Theatre in 1950. The great British character actor Ernest Thesiger played Jacques and in the cast was a young Cloris Leachman playing Celia and Jay Robison as part of the Duke's court."
What Kate had to say
"I realize I'm putting my head on the line. But for me, the personal satisfaction justifies the risk."
Katharine Hepburn - Me - 1991
"They [the critics] thought I was O.K. Sort of half carps and half praise. Looking back on my notices which I had not read at the time, I have the impression that I was irritating to the critiques. They liked me in The Philadelphia Story, but in Shakespeare - well - it was sort of 'she has a nerve to be doing this.' Well I don't know. I did study and work had and Constance [Collier] was a great help and it was exciting. At least I enjoyed it."
What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say
Sarah Parker Danielson - Hollywood Portrait - 1993
"After playing Silvia Scarlett (1935), Hepburn had wanted to play Viola in Telfth Night under the direction of Max Reinhard. However RKO wouldn't let her out of her contract, and Hepburn would have to wait until 1950 to do Shakespeare, when she played Rosalind in As You Like It. 'The part of Rosalind,' Hepburn explained, 'is really one of the great tests of how good an actress you are, and I wanted to find out.'"