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Sherwood brings laughs and music to PlayMakers with a new look at Robin Hood

Robin Hood is a classic in the theater community, but PlayMakers Repertory Company is introducing a fresh take with inclusive casting and original music. 

Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: the Adventures of Robin Hood” will be running from Sept. 12 through 30. Tickets start at $15, and student tickets are $10.

Attendees can expect a family-friendly show with plenty of laughs and action. Joshua Robinson, who plays Robin Hood, said working on the play is a blast. 

“Every kid, at some point, ran around a tree and pretended that they were Robin Hood," Robinson said. "I get the luxury of doing that where someone has built me this tree house set… It’s an illegal amount of fun."

Christine Mirzayan, who plays Marian, the play’s female lead, echoed Robinson's sentiments.

“This is something that you would expect to see on the screen, at the movies," she said. "There are so many fights and so much action and so many little comedic moments here and there.”

Though not a musical, “Sherwood: the Adventures of Robin Hood” includes original music by the Red Clay Ramblers’ Jack Herrick. Robinson, Mirzayan and Jessie Austrian, the play's director, all said how impressive and important to the play Herrick’s music is. 

Herrick has worked on several films and numerous plays around the country and overseas and even won a Tony Award for his work on “Fool Moon.”

Other versions of the Robin Hood story include action, jokes and good music, but “Sherwood” stands out in ways that one might not expect. Mirzayan said her character, Marian, breaks the mold. 

“She’s unapologetic, which is really, really powerful, and something we don’t see done that often," Mirzayan said. "We don’t see a woman do that often onstage.”

Robinson also said that as a Black man, he probably would not have been cast as Robin Hood in many other versions of the story. He praised the way PlayMakers approached casting the play. 

“They wanted to find someone who could embody that spirit of Robin Hood, and whether that person was African-American, Hispanic, Asian, transgender — they just wanted to find someone who had that spirit of Robin Hood,” Robinson said. ”It’s such a gift and a blessing to do something that I knew that I could do, but didn’t think I would get the opportunity to.”

A fair approach to casting seems only natural in a play that is about a man fighting those in power on behalf of the less fortunate.

Austrian said this version of Robin Hood is “true to the heart of the Robin Hood story, and why we keep coming back to it as a culture. It’s about standing up for justice, standing up to corruption and fighting for those in need — fighting for those who are disadvantaged.”

Mirzayan said she feels “Sherwood: the Adventures of Robin Hood” will be a hit and a family favorite.

“The story that we are trying to tell is one of justice, love and community, but we also want the audience to come on a ride with us and laugh,” Mirzayan said.

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