'Robin Hood' Brings Renaissance Festival, Swashbuckling Comedy to Dakota
Dakota High School's production of "Robin Hood" runs Nov. 15-17, with a miniature renaissance festival planned 30 minutes before every show and intermission.
Hark, all ye knights and maidens fair, Robin Hood and his band of merry men are headed to Dakota High School this week to spread their brand of swashbuckling comedy on stage and off.
Lead by junior Rudolph Obarto in the title role, a cast of 40 Dakota drama students will bring the celebrated adventures of this legendary rogue to life Nov. 15-17.
“We wanted a comedy and some sort of interactive theater,” said Eric Roman, the play’s co-director. “(Robin Hood) has everything – action, music, dancing, comedy – it offers something for all ages.”
Having performed musicals almost exclusively for the past five years, students were ready for a change of pace, said director Kelly Schmidt.
“It’s like a Disney movie come to life,” said junior Norris Thompson, who must turn his personality inside out to portray the scheming sheriff. “The character is so different from my personality. I’m a pretty nice guy, but I wanted to portray a really evil character.”
For Obarto, who finds himself not unlike the charming Robin Hood, the challenge lies in the on-stage action. While the sword fights are among his favorite scenes, Obarto said each move must be carefully choreographed to make the action look real but at the same time never endanger the actors.
“It’s a great comedy, of course, and a great family show with jokes for all ages,” Obarto added.
As Friar Tuck, Prince John and an assortment of other characters, senior Dean Michel is the supplier of many of those jokes.
“All my characters are so different,” Michel said. “Friar Tuck is very free and open. He’s always looking for a good time and always has a mug in his hand. He’s a man who likes his cider. Prince John on the other hand is a slob. All of the characters are different and unique.”
Although Michel will narrate, and take part in, much of the action on-stage, the show doesn’t start and stop with the close of the curtains.
“The idea is to have a small renaissance festival before the show and during intermission, complete with vendors, refreshments and entertainment,” Roman said. “We want to encourage audience participation in the show, so we’ll have masks and hair wreaths and the students will be out performing.”
Thirty minutes before the show and during intermission, cast members will be out in the lobby selling treats, doing their best old English accents and interacting with the audience.
The festival starts at 6:30 p.m. each night and the show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $7 for adults. They are available for purchase online or at the door.
Community members are invited to come dressed in renaissance costume and bring canned and boxed food for Dakota’s food pantry, the Cougar Closet.