2018/19 season opens with the timeless story of a hero of the people who takes on the powers that be

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company
What: Ken Ludwig’s Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood. Directed by Jessie Austrian. Original music by Jack Herrick.
When: September 12 to 30; Opening Night & Press Opening Saturday, September 15, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: Start at $15; Students tickets start at $10

(Chapel Hill, NC, August 27, 2018) PlayMakers Repertory Company proudly opens its 2018/19 Mainstage season with 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 September 12 to 30, 2018.

The tale of Robin Hood is one almost everyone knows. Robin Hood is a nobleman who leaves behind his life of privilege to stand up for those in our 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 the original story of resistance, and one man’s awakening to the injustices of his society. However, he’s not a perfect man, and in Ken Ludwig’s retelling, he’s perfectly imperfect and surrounded by a cast of characters, notably Marian, 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, is the story of an ordinary and flawed man, like all of us, who chooses to change his community for the better, and in the process, he himself is changed. Ken Ludwig’s new 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 new music by North Carolina’s Jack Herrick, whose music helps bring a relatable folk-quality to the play, which is only fitting, since the folk play originated here at UNC-Chapel Hill in 1918.”

“When Vivienne approached me about directing this play,” said Austrian, “I was drawn to the idea of reimagining these classic heroes—and heroine. This chaotically funny and entertaining adaptation delivers a bellyful of laughter while sneaking up on us with what I think is a really important message today.” Austrian, who is also Co-Artistic Director of Fiasco Theater in New York city continues, “I love telling stories, especially those that make people laugh. One of the things I love about live theatre is that it creates such an intimate, community. When you’re part of something I really believe you care just a bit more, and I hope we all leave the theatre committed to making our corner of the world a bit better.”

Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood features Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood (Three Sisters; Twelfth Night, Off-Broadway), Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Sir Guy (Count, My Fair Lady), Ray Dooley as Prince John (Leaving Eden, Tartuffe, Twelfth Night), 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, PlayMakers Mobile’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

The Creative Team of Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood includes: Jessie Austrian (Director; Co-Artistic Director and Founder of NYC’s Fiasco Theater), Kara Wooten (Fight Director; Cyrano de Bergerac; Hamlet, National Ballet of Canada), Jack Herrick (Composer, Music Director; Big River, Twelfth Night; Broadway’s Fool Moon), McKay Coble (Scenic Designer; My Fair Lady, The Tempest/Metamorphoses), Tracey Christensen (Costume Designer; Three Sisters and Broadway’s 2017 Sunset Boulevard revival), 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, Twelfth Night), Ryan Tucker (Assistant Fight Coordinator), Greg Kable (Dramaturg), Charles K. 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.

Performance and Special Event Schedule:

  • August 27, 7:00 p.m. Chapel Hill Public Library — “In the Wings,” a series of conversations in partnership with the Chapel Hill and Durham County Public LIbraries. Free and open to the public.
  • September 13, 6:00 p.m. — “The Vision Series—Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with members of the creative team before the evening’s performance, at the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art. Free and open to the public.
  • September 12-14, 7:30 p.m. — Preview performances
  • September 15, 7:30 p.m. — Opening Performance & Press Opening, with post-show Opening Night Celebration
  • September 18, 7:30 p.m. — All-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description
  • September 18, 7:30 p.m. — Community Night. General admission seating, with all tickets $15
  • September 19 and 23 — Free post-show discussions with members of the creative team, cast and community members
  • September 29, 2:00 p.m. — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit
  • September 29, 2:00 p.m. — Family Matinee, with free family-friendly pre-show activities
  • September 30 — “Mindplay,” a free post-show psychoanalytic reading of our production in partnership with the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:
PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 40 years, we have produced relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives, and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. We are proud to be part of a 100 year tradition of playmaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America”.

PlayMakers Contacts:

  • For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, dmpineda@email.unc.edu or 919.962.7114
  • For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, rosalie@unc.edu or 919.962.6997

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Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood. Photo by HuthPhoto.Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood. Photo by HuthPhoto.

Christine Mirzayan as Maid Marian. Photo by HuthPhoto.Christine Mirzayan as Maid Marian. Photo by HuthPhoto.

Dan Toot as Friar Tuck. Photo by HuthPhoto.Dan Toot as Friar Tuck. Photo by HuthPhoto.

Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood and Dan Toot as Friar Tuck. Photo by HuthPhoto.Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood and Dan Toot as Friar Tuck. Photo by HuthPhoto.

Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood and Christine Mirzayan as Maid Marian. Photo by HuthPhoto.Joshua David Robinson as Robin Hood and Christine Mirzayan as Maid Marian. Photo by HuthPhoto.