Robin Hood meets comedy
May 5, 2011
The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood – a classic children's tale meets modern comedy, creating entertainment for every age group. Hoping to prove the talent the Moffat County High School Theatre Department was capable of, former actresses Colleen Lee and Heather Dahlberg collaborated with each other to direct this play for a cast of 23 dedicated student actors. The result was one of the funniest and most successful spring plays MCHS has ever put on, one which will be remembered for years to come.
This year's spring play was successful for an abundance of reasons. "Everyone was definitely in-tune with becoming their characters, making it feel a lot more realistic than past plays. You could tell how hard everyone worked for the success of it," stated senior Caitlyn Georgiou, who attended the show for each performance. Along with the great effort put into the play, several pieces of it directly connected with the audience. The actors had many physical and verbal connections with the crowd, keeping high energy and entertainment in the audience throughout the show. Prince John, played by senior Tucker Trujillo stated, "Since we got to interact with the audience, it was a lot more connected. We had a different kind of connection. We acknowledged them as much as they acknowledged us, it was a totally different experience."
The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood also gained success in the ways that it differed from traditional play direction. While putting together the show, Dalhberg used something called "organic staging" – a theatre technique giving actors the freedom to expand upon their characters and the scripts without strict orders from directors. Given this opportunity, MCHS actors were able to bring forth their own original ideas onto the stage in order to make the production more appealing to crowd. Things such as the Justin Beiber references, Lady Marion's "deceiving" stuffed bra, and the Fawning Ladies' choreography were all thought up by cast members without the help of directors. "She gave us an opportunity to make the play part of us. It helped it come to life," said Trujillo.
Playwright Mary Lynn Dobson's exquisite balance of kid-friendly and adult humor gave each audience member something to laugh at. The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood was written to be acted out in a farcical manner. Farce plays are a mode of dramatic comedy, consisting of broad physical humor, extravagant situations, and varying degrees of verbal comicality. Antics such as the over-the-top actions of the Merry Men and props gags like the use of spoons as weapons gave the production an angle which easily pleased younger generations of the audience. In addition, the play consisted of a more grown-up tone of humor. Throughout the production, actors employed many plays on words and sexual innuendos, directed towards the mature part of the audience. Although some may argue that the use of sexual references are highly inappropriate to be used in high school theatre, the play actors and directors would disagree. "The younger audience members are exposed to things much worse. Those jokes probably went right over their heads," said senior Emmi Hall, who played the part of The Town’s Chic. Dahlberg also added that any person attending the play reserved the right to leave at any time. If for some reason a viewer felt uncomfortable about what has happening onstage, they were responsible for dismissing themselves. Senior Caitlyn Georgiou, who attended the show for every performance, described it saying, "Its all in good fun. Everyone can share a good laugh. Its not like they're trying to offend anyone. Everyone I was with thought it was hilarious." The Lady In Waiting, played by junior Jordyn Caddy, described the overall outcome of the show saying, "I think the play was a huge success! I hope the audience could see the improvements that the theatre department has made over the past year because we've been working hard."