When Homestead High School theatre Director Amelia Figg-Franzoi was asked “Why Robin Hood?” she smiled lightly and spoke, “I know, crazy right? It’s a show all about men. Or at least traditionally. Last year I fell in love with a version of Robin Hood called The Heart of Robin Hood, but I knew I could never do it, for Maid Marian is the only woman in the script. Mind you she is amazing in the play, fighting and turning Robin Hood from a theif and into the good outlaw we know and love today. Once I read this script I knew I wanted to do Robin Hood. Larry Blamire’s version allowed me to do this. He wrote Marian as a strong fighter, and there are lots of other female roles. Everyone is pretty epic in the play.”
Plot of the Play:
After their involvement in the death of a royal forester, Robin Hood (Zach Ginkel), his best friend Will (Gwen Cain), and Marian (Silma Berrada) find themselves on the hit list of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Matthias Wong). While looking for the supposed murderers, the sheriff’s men (Betsy Baker, Emily Limbach, Maisie Allen and Lauren Doers) raid a pub in Lincolnshire owned by Eadom (Mary Wilkerson) and Catherine (Sarah Sullivan). The foresters kidnap the beautiful Ellen Dierwald (Sarah Verespj) because the Sheriff has fallen in love with her. The survivors of the raid soon become the Merry Band of Sherwood: Nick Gardison is Little John, Lauren Burghardt as Much, Kira Dayton as Arthur a Bland, Sarah Mai is Meg Scathelocke, Haley Stevens is Friar Tuck and George Ballesteros is the minstrel Alan-a-Dale. Together they set out to steal taxes from right under the sheriff’s nose and distribute the treasure to the poor.
All the while, King John (Andrew Lococo) plots against his mother, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (Rachel Lentz), and conspires to invade France, an action that is sure to drain the kingdom of funds. A plot to murder Robin Hood is soon hatched and Ellen finds herself forced into an engagement with the evil sheriff.
Will wise-cracking Robin and his Merry Men be able to stop King John’s invasion and the sheriff’s wedding in time? Other cast members include Shir Bloch as Hilton, the sheriff’s serving girl; Kaleb Norris as the aloof Bishop of Hereford; Emily Boehlke as Robin Hood’s cousin, the Prioress of Kirklees; and Serena Zacharias is the evil Guy of Gisbourne.
In addition to director Amelia Figg-Franzoi, the Homestead Theatre creative team for Robin Hood includes assistant directors Mari Duckler (16) and Grace Nemcek (17), Fight Director Christopher Elst, technical director Wayne Peters, and stage manager Erin Meskimen.
For a set, says director Figg-Franzoi, “I fell in love with the idea of word and book pages as the set. Through crumpled paper and LED lights we will create stone castle walls and lush green forests. The Tech Theatre class designed and built benches and tables.”
She adds, “We also did some cross-gender casting in this show. Little John and some of the other Merry Men are played by girls and women. We decided not have dress them as boys or try to hide the fact that they are girls. The character is now simply female with the traditional name used in folklore. It adds to the humor and the fantasy of the play.”