Life doesn't always turn out the way you expect, but it may turn out "As You Like It."
The DaVinci Academy presents the Shakespeare romance in a show opening on Thursday. It was directed by the school's drama teacher, Joe Crnich, who until last spring served as drama and video teacher at Ogden High School. His job there was eliminated due to budget cuts.
"I got an offer from DaVinci to come here and basically do what I did at Ogden High, but in a public charter school. They were really happy and supportive about wanting me to work here, and it was nice to be wanted," he said.
So Crnich brought his 15 years of big-school experiences to the smaller charter school, which opened in 2004. In return, his students get a teacher with a strong theater background and connections at Weber State University that will allow them to stage "As You Like It" in the Allred Theater, in the Browning Center on campus. DaVinci's own stage is still under construction, to be completed this summer.
"It feels similar to Ogden High, but the kids are from all over, not just Ogden," Crnich said, of his school. "They come from Ogden, Salt Lake City, Bountiful, Syracuse, Brigham City."
The school's design students suggested staging the Shakespeare play in the 1960s, and Crnich went with it.
"I'm very much in favor of having kids be excited about what they are doing," Crnich said. "It makes the play really accessible and fun. Most of the music is from the '60s, and we've got early Beatles, 'Eleanor' (by the Turtles), and some Dusty Springfield."
Crnich said the play is a good choice for students and for audiences.
"It's the typical Shakespeare comedy, with mistaken identities, and Rosalind is banished to the forest of Arden, and decides to dress up as a man to protect herself," he said. "It's a lot of fun, and it will have very nice music."
l WHAT: 'As You Like It'
l WHO: DaVinci Academy students
l l WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Dec. 18
l WHERE: Allred Theater, Browning Center, Weber State University campus, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden
l TICKETS: $8, $5/students, at the door. (801) 409-0700.