OWOSSO — Robin Hood and his band of merry men will swashbuckle their way across the Lebowsky stage as the Owosso Community Players present “Robin Hood,” opening Friday at the Lebowsky Center for two weekends.
Directed by visiting Yale graduate Spencer Klavan, this version of the folktale features a cast of 27 in a retelling of the tale.
“Larry Blamire, the playwright, synthesizes centuries of age-old legends into one rip-roaring adventure,” said Klavan in a press release.
Klavan is part of the Cook Family Foundation’s Owosso Fellows Program, which brings college students and recent graduates into community organizations for the summer.
“The fellowship placement at OCP seemed like a perfect fit,” Klavan said.
The Robin Hood story is familiar, yet there have been numerous retellings over its long history, each with a particular take on the legend, according to Klavan.
“When the self-obsessed King John (Miles Hayes) taxes the Saxon peasantry to within an inch of their lives to fuel his irresponsible foreign policy, the dashing and rakish Robin Hood (Kellan Aldrich) mounts a revolution to lower taxes and return justice to Nottinghamshire,” Klavan said of the play.
Robin is opposed by the scheming sheriff (Seth Barnes) and aided by his stalwart love interest and lady-in-waiting, Marian Harper (Michelle Shattuck), as well as a band of ragtag outlaws and outcasts (Kyle Goodwin, Madaline Harkema, Zane Jordan, Michael McClung, Sky Poage, and Hadden Wisenbaugh).
The rest of the cast includes Haley and Hannah Clark, Noah Clayton, Beth Fischer, Hailea Fraidenburg, Collin Frederick, Nicholas Frederick, Paige King, Kyle Juszkiewicz, Cory LaPeen, Thomas Laurin, Jessica McClung, Josie Norris, Patrick Vreibel, Sam Wittum, and Marykate Wright.
Along with humor, the script calls for fast-paced action and combat, Klavan said. Chesaning Association of Performing Arts director Jason Woodworth-Hou is serving as a consultant on the show. As a certified “fight director,” he earned his “actor combatant” certification in broadsword, quarterstaff, rapier and dagger, and later studied combat at the Chicago College of Performing arts as part of his master’s degree in directing.
Klavan, whose acting training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts included stage combat, is doing his own choreography for “Robin Hood,” under Woodworth-Hou’s guidance.
Performances are July 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m., and July 20 and 27 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for patrons 18 and under. Call the box office at (989) 723-4003 or go to owossoplayers.com for online purchasing.