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© Dahlia Katz

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

Cliff Cardinal

Let’s Be Friends

In William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling by Cliff Cardinal, Shakespeare finds a worthy adversary. Cliff Cardinal proves himself highly skilled in the art of subterfuge and assumed identities, used time and again by the Bard, to blur the boundaries between true and false. Playing with the sacred trust that exists between audience and artist, Cardinal, Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, invokes theatre’s most precious quality: its capacity to astonish.

Drawing on the powerful satirical energy and bold playfulness his work is known for, Cardinal takes over the Forest of Arden. Subversive and clandestine, Cardinal presents a plea for friendship and solidarity—and an invitation for each of us to consider reconciliation from within the very cells of our bodies.

General info

About the artist

© Red Works

Cliff Cardinal (Toronto)

A native of the Indigenous community in Pine Ridge, Dakota, Cardinal currently lives and works in Toronto, where his creations have received numerous honours and awards.

Full biography

Media Coverage

“This is Cardinal’s provocative take on Shakespeare’s comedy, and it will be unlike any other version you’ve seen.”

Janet Smith, Stir, 2022-02-02

“Cardinal’s version is viewed through an Indigenous lens and fits the context perfectly. […] It’s an excellent interpretation and wonderful theatre.”

Sam Mooney, Mooney on theatre, 2021-10-01

“Cliff Cardinal reckons with the darkness in our happy familiar story and, in forcing his in-person audience to come with him, he shows us the truth.”

Kelly Bedard, My Entertainment World, 2021-10-01

“This adaptation of one of the Bard’s most popular plays is sure to leave you with plenty to think about, and you may never think of Shakespeare in the same way again.”

John Jane, Review Vancouver, 2022-02-14


“We have a tendency to be comfortable with the idea that we know. We think that because we’ve read one article, we’re an expert on the subject. You meet one person and you think you have empathy. But you don’t know. We should always be trying harder to understand others and what they’re going through.”

Read the interview