The biggest problem for the actors preparing "As You Like It" for performance at the Gold Hill Hotel Gazebo Theater isn't learning the lines or mastering the blocking.
The hurdle is learning the projection needed to be heard over the occasional truck that rumbles less than two dozen feet from the stage.
"It's definitely different. You have to be used to projecting, have a good voice and excellent breathing," Cameron Crane said.
Crane is a member of the Nevada Shakespeare Company, who is collaborating with the Gold Hill Theater Troupe to bring the Shakespearean comedy to Gold Hill's outdoor arena. Crain plays Orlando in "As You Like It."
The play is an erotic, pastoral comedy centered around the betrayal, exile and retribution between two pairs of characters. Thrown into the mix is a love-struck man who has fallen for a vain domineering woman, hidden agendas and a bit of cross-dressing for good measure.
"It's exciting, it's titillating and it's sexy," Crane said. "But it's a comedy, so it's just a fun simple play that is one of the easier plays to perform and understand."
Gold Hill Theater Troupe Director Bill Fain, who is producing the play, said the outdoor stage provides a perfect backdrop for the Forest of Arden, the play's setting.
"It was just happenstance that it worked out. We had the stage and wanted to do a comedy," Fain said. "But the forest worked out perfectly. It couldn't have been better if we planted it ourselves."
Fain said that while the Gold Hill Theater Troupe has developed into a excellent group of performers, the ability to perform Shakespeare helps cement a group's reputation.
"We started the troupe five years ago, and last year we did our first Shakespeare play," he said. "That's the ultimate success. If actors can do Shakespeare it shows the proficiency of the performer and the troupe." he said.
The audience is advised to watch the relationships between the sets of characters, with attention to the outcomes.
"Shakespeare makes several of the characters real jerks, but provides a happy ending," Crain said. "Just watch who gets the happy ending."
Fain said, "At one point there's a wrestling match and that alone is worth the price of admission."
The play is the centerpiece of the second annual Shakespeare On the Rocks event which features live music and a pre-show before the performance. The Gold Hill Hotel is offering a dinner special in conjunction with the performance. The four-course medieval meal costs $38 per person.
The play is directed by Jeanmarie Simpson, artistic director for the Nevada Shakespeare Company, and runs Aug. 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26.
Live music and a 15-minute pre-show begins at 7 p.m., followed by the main performance beginning at 8 p.m. The play runs slightly over two hours.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.