As You Like It: A Boy Who Became A Leading Actress

Max is given a significant role in a Shakespearean play for the first time…

Character:

1) Max/Delilah Kendal: is the protagonist of the play. He is 5’6 and slightly-built, with red hair and green eyes. He loves his girlfriend very much. Max is extremely interested in theatre and acting. A stroke of luck gets him cast as Rosalind in a stage production of “As You Like It.” Essaying a female role changes 17-year-old Max’s life forever.

2) Iris Farley: is Max’s girlfriend. She is tall and sinewy, with blonde hair and pale blue eyes. Iris is the daughter of a wealthy businessman. She has a torrid one-year affair with Max before breaking up with him. The reason for the breakup is Max’s dressing in female clothes while rehearsing the role of Rosalind. An immature 17-year-old Iris is unable to tolerate Max’s cross-dressing (even if it is for a role).

3) Janice White: is an experienced 28-year-old actress who is a part of the same theatre troupe as Max (Histrionics United). Janice’s great expressions and flawless dialogue delivery get her the part of Rosalind in “As You Like It.” However, four days before the play, Janice meets with an accident and has to be hospitalized.

4) Kate Young: is Janice’s understudy. She is a tall, ungainly girl who fails to impress with her acting performance after Janice is hospitalized. The producer and director can’t afford to cast Kate in the role of Rosalind; hence Max gets the part.

5) Zoe Chester: is a petite (5’4), brown-haired girl who gets cast as Celia. Zoe is a good actress but is infamous for her drunken misbehavior. After a few seasons of “As You Like It,” Zoe is thrown out of Histrionics United. Years later, a fairly successful Max/Delilah meets Zoe in a pub—Zoe works there as a waitress. A jealous Zoe stirs up trouble for Delilah.

6) Aunt Esme: is Max’s maternal aunt. She is a chubby, cheerful woman who works as a chef in a small restaurant. She has raised Max single-handedly ever since his parents died in an accident when Max was 7. Aunt Esme passes away when Max is 20, leaving him devastated.

7) Isaac Barlow: is the 30-year-old director of Histrionics United. He is a sensitive young man of medium height. He has warm brown eyes. Isaac notices Max performing the female roles of “As You Like It” and compliments him on his talent. When the actress who is to perform Rosalind is hospitalized four days before the show, Isaac casts Max as Rosalind.

8) George Taylor: is the 45-year-old producer of the play. He is bespectacled ginger with thinning hair. George is the kind of person who panics easily. He is distressed when the play’s lead actress has to be hospitalized four days before the show. George is relieved when a competent Max is cast as Rosalind. Later in the story, George agrees to produce a play Delilah has written.

9) Isabel White: is the sister of Janice, the actress who is cast as Rosalind. When Janice meets with an accident and has to be hospitalized, the chestnut-haired Isabel personally comes to the theatre to tell Isaac that her sister will have to be replaced by someone else.

10) Oscar Nash: is a 29-year-old actor who is cast as Touchstone. Oscar is tall and thin, with long brown hair and merry grey eyes. He works in an insurance company and aspires to be a chartered accountant. Oscar understands Max’s discomfiture in performing a female role over and over again. He is also very supportive of Max when Aunt Esme dies.

When in London, Oscar and Max/Delilah become best mates. As Delilah feminizes, Oscar confesses his love for her. The two get into a brief relationship. Oscar is hurt and disappointed to discover that Delilah is still pining for her old lover and leaves Delilah forever.

11) Bella Smith: is the head of a London-based management company called “Acting Unlimited.” She is a slick, calculative woman in her 40s. Bella thinks it is risky to let Max live as a man. She persuades him into signing an agreement, which says that Max is to assume the name “Delilah” and live as a woman for ten years, the time period during which she would be performing as Rosalind in the Globe Theatre. When Delilah is interviewed and photographed by a local newspaper, Bella notices that her skin tone appears a bit coarse. She persuades Delilah to take female hormones to make her skin look more feminine.

12) Jade Fenton: is an enthusiastic, strawberry blonde in her 40s who works for a newspaper. Jade watches one of Delilah’s shows at the Globe and is impressed by her performance. Jade ends up interviewing Delilah. This becomes the first of Delilah’s two interviews.

13) Dr. Megan Oakley: is the doctor who assists Delilah with hormone replacement. Dr. Oakley is a kind, motherly woman in her late 40s. She administers 10 mg of Progynon Depot in injection form every two weeks.

14) Blake Carlton: is an 18-year-old student of the Imperial College in London. He is a tall, muscular young man, with blonde hair and pale blue eyes. Blake sees one of Delilah’s performances at the Globe and is impressed by her. He accidentally meets Delilah on the street and the two become good friends. Blake has a tiny little crush on Delilah, but Delilah only feels platonic affection for him. Blake is very protective of Delilah.

15) Dr. Ezra Carlton: is Blake’s deceased dad. He was a kind, benevolent man. Dr. Carlton passed away two years ago from a massive heart attack, leaving Blake and his mom bereaved. Dr. Carlton was only 48.

16) Tin Tin: is Blake’s kitten, who wraps herself around Delilah’s legs when Delilah is jogging. Delilah and Blake meet and become friends only because of Tin Tin.

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