Its always fun for girls to dress up and pretend to be princesses, but it may be even more so in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, opening Saturday at Theatre Macon and directed by Scot and Kelly Mann.
The Manns are using a play adapted from the 1938 Errol Flynn film The Adventures of Robin Hood for the Youth Actors Company production, and that adaptation includes accommodating the large number of girls who often come to the theaters auditions, Kelly Mann said.
Sasha Penndorf, who plays Princess Joan instead of Prince John, said her character is an amazingly fun and cruel character to play.
Joan is the sister to Englands beloved King Richard, who has been captured, giving Joan the opportunity to rule the country.
Id have to say my favorite scene is about 30 minutes into the show, the banquet scene. Its the first time I get to sit and eat with my Nottingham friends, and I get to do this laugh that is so annoying and so screechy, and everyone has to tolerate it because Im about to be the ruler of England, Sasha said. Having the opportunity to look people in the eye and know they have to do everything I tell them to do has been a blast.
That bravado extends to the plays male performers as well, said Mason Clark, who plays Robin Hood.
Im usually kind of reserved, but hes Robin Hood, arrogant and outgoing. I get to be the big hero and stand tall with my hands on my hips and my chest poked out, Mason said, adding that the fight scenes choreographed by the Manns look straight out of a movie.
Kelly Mann is an advanced actor combatant and Scot a fight master with the Society of American Fight Directors.
I can tell they are very good at what they do; the fights are clean with a lot of tricks, just awesome, Mason said.
Unlike the roles, however, the fights were not adapted specifically for the girls.
They are playing traditional roles, just as women, Kelly Mann said. I always like to do the fight scenes with the girls because the heavy fight scenes are very often empowering for them when they find out they can do it, and sometimes better than boys.
The fights were adapted for the stage, with puppeteers helping out.
We had to get creative with live arrows and fights midstream. We have the puppeteers represent water and shooting arrows, masking what we do theatrically rather than what we do with a camera and editing, Mann said, adding that in addition to the fights, Robin Hood and his band of merry people bring a lot of laughter to the stage as well.
We wanted it to be as silly and ridiculous as possible, complete with sound cues and swashbuckling music, she said, making for a play Mason and Sasha agreed would be amazingly fun for the audience.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday and Jan. 18-19; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Jan. 20
Where: Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry St.
Cost: $18 adults, $12 students