PlayMakers Repertory Company proudly opens its 2018-2019 mainstage season with the regional premiere of Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood,” a play with music directed by Jessie Austrian and featuring original music by Jack Herrick, of North Carolina’s Red Clay Ramblers. The production runs from Sept. 12 to 30 at the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road. (*Opening night has been rescheduled for Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.)
The tale of Robin Hood is part of our collective mythology. Robin Hood is a nobleman who leaves behind his life of privilege to stand up for those in society who cannot. He is joined by a band of merry men and Maid Marian as he robs from the rich to give to the poor. But how well do we really know this legendary folk hero and what moves him? The legend of Robin Hood is one of the original resistance stories, and one man’s awakening to the injustices of his society. In Ken Ludwig’s frolicking, funny retelling, he’s not a perfect man at all, but perfectly imperfect and surrounded by a colorful cast of characters who help challenge and shape his ideals.
“This is a play that we need right now. The ‘legend’ of Robin Hood has become so much a part of our consciousness that we have forgotten what it really means,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director. “Beyond the swashbuckling, humor and romance — of which there is plenty — Ken Ludwig’s take on this classic tale brings us back to Robin Hood’s social justice roots; what a way to open our season of Theatre that Moves! Theatrically, I am also excited that this production shines with an original score by North Carolina’s Jack Herrick, whose music helps bring a familiar folk-quality to the play, which is only fitting, since the American folk play originated here at UNC-Chapel Hill just about 100 years ago.”
“What excited me most about directing this play is the heart at the center of this Robin Hood story,” said Austrian. “It’s a story about a group of underdogs standing up to corruption and fighting for those in need. Ken has reimagined these classic heroes — and heroine — for a contemporary audience with delightful comedy, which also opens the door to deep pathos and compassion. And, it’s an ensemble play that relies on the audience’s imagination. That’s what I love about theater most: the audience’s imagination is required, we are all a part of making the story together, and we become a community. I hope audiences will leave the theater exhausted from laughing and committed to making our corner of the world a little bit better. We are all capable of becoming heroes in our communities at any time.”
“Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” features Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood (“Three Sisters,” “Twelfth Night” Off-Broadway), Jeffrey B. Cornell as Sir Guy (“Count,” “My Fair Lady”), Ray Dooley as Prince John (“Leaving Eden,” “Tartuffe”), April Mae Davis as Doerwynn (“Sense and Sensibility,” “In the Red and Brown Water” at National Black Theatre Festival), Rishan Dhamija as Little John (“Leaving Eden,” “Dot”), Christine Mirzayan as Maid Marian (“The Christians,” “The Cake”), Tristan Parks as Sheriff of Nottingham (“My Fair Lady,” “The Crucible”), and Dan Toot as Friar Tuck (“Sense and Sensibility,” and “Pericles” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre).
The Creative Team of “Leaving Eden” includes: Jessie Austrian (Director; Co-Artistic Director and Founder of NYC’s Fiasco Theater), Kara Wooten (Fight Director; “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Hamlet” at National Ballet of Canada), Jack Herrick (Composer, Music Director; “Big River,” and Broadway’s “Fool Moon”), McKay Coble (Scenic Designer; “Leaving Eden,” “The Tempest/Metamorphoses”), Tracy Christensen (Costume Designer; “Three Sisters” and Broadway’s 2017 “Sunset Boulevard”), Rui Rita (Lighting Designer; PlayMakers debut, Broadway’s “Enchanted April”), Melanie Chen Cole (Sound Designer; PlayMakers Debut, “Imaginary Invalid” at The Old Globe), Jenny Latimer (Assistant Director; “The Cake,” “My Fair Lady”), Ryan Tucker (Assistant Fight Coordinator), Greg Kable (Dramaturg), Charles Bayang (Stage Manager) and Elizabeth Ray (Assistant Stage Manager).
“Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” is appropriate for all ages.
For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices start at $15; Student tickets start at $10.
Originally developed and produced at The Old Globe, Barry Edelstein, Artistic Director, Timothy J. Shields, Managing Director.