“It was perfect,” Ashley MacNeil says about her first performance as Robin Hood in front of 300 students from Glace Bay Elementary, “They roared at the funny parts, and clapped for the songs.”
This updated musical version of the classic tale of good versus bad is being presented by the Cape Breton University Dramagroup at the Boardmore Playhouse this week.
It has four days of morning performances before it has two public shows on Saturday, May 14, at 7pm and Sunday, May 15, at 2pm.
This script, with book and music and lyrics by Ken Chisholm, was first produced at CBU twenty years ago. The story follows Robin Hood (MacNeil), a young female descendent of her more famous ancestor, as she tries to rally her fellow citizens to stand against greedy Prince Tom and the power hungry Sheriff.
This time though, Robin is a promoter of non-violent protest tactics, has a crush on Wade Marian, and declares stealing from anyone, not matter how noble the motive, is “wrong, wrong, wrong”.
It is an uphill since even her all girl gang, rapper Alana Dale, skateboarder Little Jenn, and would ninja Try’er Luck, want to use the traditional “rob the rich, give to the poor” method.
“I like how Robin’s the mother figure and wants to keep the peace while trying to make the townsfolk see how Prince Tom is corrupting the town,” MacNeil says.
MacNeil began her acting career when she was four years old when she was Snow White. Since then she’s been in productions of The Wizard Of Oz, Heaven’s Gate, Hell’s Flame (sponsored by the Salvation Army), and the Cape Breton Stage Company’s production of Jenn Tubrett’s Notte Del Partito this past January.
Joining MacNeil onstage in Robin Hood are Aaron Corbett (Prince Tom), David Hutchinson (Sheriff), Allison Haley (Alana), Anna Spencer (Try’er Luck), Jenna Currie (Little Jenn), and Brittany Fagan-Steele (Wizard Wayne).
Also in the cast are Matthew Boyd, Kenzie Legere, Sarah-Kate MacKinnon, Bhreagh MacNeil, Danielle MacDonald, Leah MacLeod, Sarah Arseneau, and Carrie MacDonald.
Todd Hiscock directed and Cynthia Vokey created the choreography.
Tickets for this production are available from CBU Playhouse Box Office 1pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday the week of performances and one hour before show time or by calling 563-1652.