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“Thrilling! Tour de force performance.” —CTV

“Powerful and hilarious.” —Global News

“A must-see!” —Toronto Star

“A liberating night at the theatre. Brutally funny and honest.” –The Globe and Mail Critic’s Pick

“As subversive as it is amusing.” —Stir Vancouver

“Unlike any other production of the play, past or future.” —NOW Magazine

“Cliff Cardinal is a force of nature.” —Sirius XM

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 retelling of As You Like It. 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 hilarious take on the play. When the curtains rise, you can be certain that it’s Shakespeare like you’ve never seen before and almost certainly never will again.

Cast will be announced at each performance.

Presented in partnership with Under the Radar
Mark Russell, Festival Director & ArKtype, Festival Producer
More information at

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The title of William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT holds a double meaning that teasingly suggests this is a play to please all tastes. Is it possible? With his subversive updating of the Bard’s classic, cultural provocateur Cliff Cardinal seeks to find out. The show exults in dark humour, difficult subject matter, and raw emotion. Bear these words in mind:

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head
– AS YOU LIKE IT, William Shakespeare

CONTENT ADVISORY: This production contains strong language and examines mature themes.


Cliff Cardinal Writer and Creator
Logan Cracknell Lighting Designer
Jennifer Stobart Stage Manager
Chris Abraham Artistic Director, Crow’s Theatre

Cliff Cardinal, Writer and Creator

Cliff Cardinal is a polarizing writer and performer known for his black humour and compassionate poeticism. William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal received its world premiere in a Crow’s Theatre on September 30, 2021, and enjoyed a sold-out run at PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in February 2022.

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 the CBC Radio.

Cliff Cardinal’s CBC Special, his eagerly anticipated follow-up to Huff, won the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award for the top performance at Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival and toured Canada’s north beginning in Yellowknife. Cardinal’s first multi-character play, Too Good To Be True, which opened VideoCabaret’s 2019 season at the Busy Street theatre in Toronto, with Cardinal directing, “…solidifies Cardinal as one of the most talented and intriguing writers in the country.” NOW Magazine.

Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Cliff studied playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada, and is an associate artist at VideoCabaret where he develops his new work. Cliff also fronts the hilarious and nefarious Cliff Cardinal and The Skylarks, who have released two albums; and is the son of iconic Canadian actress Tantoo Cardinal. Cliff lives in Toronto with his wife Sage Paul, Artistic Director of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, their dog Frodo, and their cat Tiga.

Chris Abraham, Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director

Artistic and General Director, Chris Abraham, has been the driving force of Crow’s Theatre since the 2008.09 season. He has successfully led the company through two major milestones: the 25th and 35th Anniversaries of the company; as well as building Streetcar Crowsnest, a pioneering, state of the art facility with three venues in the East End of Toronto. This season, Chris served as co-conspirator with Cliff Cardinal on William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal and directed Zorana Sadiq’s MixTape. This year has also directed Porte Parole’s The Assembly in Lithuania and the film version of Soundstreams Musik Fur Das Ende, and has received critical acclaim for his work as the Shakespearean coach on the hit television series Station Eleven. Next, Chris will be directing Cyrano at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Chris’ artistic practice spans the spectrum of solo work, documentary, highly lauded Stratford and Shaw productions, hybrid music theatre concerts, opera, and filmmaking. At Crow’s, he has directed numerous award-winning plays including, Julius Caesar, Stars: Together, The Wedding Party, True Crime, Boy in the Moon, The Assembly, The Watershed, The Seagull, Winners & Losers, Someone Else, Eternal Hydra, and I, Claudia. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award-winning hit I, Claudia for which he won a Gemini Award.

A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as co-director of the school’s renowned directing program from 2006 to 2010, and in 2013, he was awarded the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre for Directing.

Crow’s Theatre , Producer

CROW’S THEATRE ignites passionate and enduring engagement between our audiences and artists by creating, producing, and promoting unforgettable theatre that examines and illuminates the pivotal narratives of our times. Founded in 1983, Crow’s Theatre has premiered over 50 new, daring, Canadian works, including the multiple-award-winning production of Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love; John Mighton’s A Short History of Night, James O’Reilly’s Time After Time: The Chet Baker Project, Lee MacDougall’s High Life, Annabel Soutar’s The Watershed, Kristen Thomson’s The Wedding Party, Julius Caesar and Tartuffe with Groundling Theatre Company and Canadian Stage, The Flick with Outside the March, and Emil Sher’s adaptation of Ian Brown’s The Boy in the Moon.


Under the Radar (RADAR) is presented by Mark Russell in association with ArKtype

NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.

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