Rose Theater to Present ROBIN HOOD, 10/11-27
The legendary tale of Robin Hood bursts onto The Rose Theater stage in this unique and fast-paced adaptation by Greg Banks, running October 11 -27, 2013. Filled with swashbuckling adventure paired with a poignant message, this adaptation of Robin Hood will have families cheering as the hero stands up for justice and cleverly evades the relentless Sheriff of Nottingham. At the same time, audiences will be actively engaged, not only in the captivating story of the hero, but also in charity for the Omaha community.
"This is not your typical Robin Hood," says show director Matthew Gutschick. "This story transports the audience from a modern, urban environment into the mystery and magic of Sherwood Forest."
This transformation is accomplished through the talents and artistry of several Rose technicians who go to new levels of creativity with their innovative methods of creating medieval artifacts from modern day found objects. Garbage can lids and steel colanders morph into regal armor; shower curtains and discarded rags become garments fit for a king, all under the watchful eye of costume designer Callyann Casteel. Likewise, sound designer Kyle L. Toth has composed an original soundtrack invoking the spirit of the Middle Ages while also incorporating unique instruments and interspersed with percussive beats created with tin cans and metal rods.
In the spirit of the show's message of helping others, audience members are encouraged to tip the scale of hunger by bringing a canned food donation for the Open Door Mission that will be placed on an interactive display in The Rose Theater's
lobby. Theatergoers will interact with costumed vagabonds and beggars collecting money for the Open Door Mission as they take their seats in an "alternate reality" auditorium, a fictional present where it will appear that The Rose has fallen into disrepair. During the course of the show, urban sets will transform into the trees and glens of medieval England, giving way to the legend of Robin Hood.
"Our team has made a world where magic is possible. That's one of the central traits of Sherwood Forest in any telling of this tale - the forest is a place where anything can happen," says Gutschick.
Even with its serious message of justice and equality, the story never fails to entertain with fast action, trickery and puns as Robin Hood and his band of merry men (and women) fight for justice. Audiences can expect witty banter and physical comedy punctuated by bursts of action befitting the legendary Prince of Thieves. The story features the highlights of the Robin Hood story: his first rescue of Maid Marian, meeting Little John, the competition for the silver arrow, and of course, his ongoing evasion of the villainous buffoons - the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John.
"The best theater is funny and moving. We believe this production is both," says Gutschick.
The play also relies heavily on audience involvement, urging viewers to cheer "Long live Robin Hood" at various times during the show, or inform characters of the villians' whereabouts. According to Gutschick, this is part of what makes this particular version of Robin Hood so unique; it can only be done in a theater where the actors can truly interact with the audience.
"It is a very special experience. This is a show that continually breaks the 'fourth wall.' The audience will engage in contests, participate in a dance with on-stage characters and even compete against the Sheriff of Nottingham in a sack race," he says. "The show will feel like a true adventure, and everyone in The Rose Theater plays a part - from actors to audience."
This adaptation of Robin Hood, penned by award-winning playwright Greg Banks, has special meaning to Gutschick, who was studying with Peter Brosius, artistic director of the Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis, when it premiered in 2010.
"This version of Robin Hood doesn't ignore the realities of the world," says Gutschick. "Yes, there is injustice and inequality in the world. But at the same time, there is beauty and friendship and kindness."
The show is recommended for families with children ages 5 to 11 and is 60 minutes without an intermission.
Robin Hood runs from October 11 - 27 with performances on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 5 p.m., and on Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $18 per person. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores for $14 each. Members of The Rose receive four free tickets to the production. For more information or to make reservations, call the Box Office at (402) 345-4849 or online at www.rosetheater.org.