'Robin Hood' playing Sept. 6-8
Posted on: Aug 30, 2018
Anyone who appreciates action, comedy, music and a good adventure will enjoy the upcoming production of “Robin Hood: A Musical – Sort Of” at Delano High School.
Thirty-four students in grades five through eight have put their own touches on the script by Carmella Gates, which is loosely based on the classic tale of Robin Hood and his Merry Men who rob the rich to help the poor.
“I would expect a lot of enthusiasm from the students because they have been such a big part of the artistic process,” said Director Brooklyn Riggs, who is bringing nearly a decade of experience in educational theater to bear in her first Delano show.
While Riggs edited the script and outlined most of the stage movement, she engaged students in decision-making about many of the show’s aspects, from singing with or without a background musical track to choreography and blocking.
“They were a huge part of making choices, and they really liked that. They have a stake in it,” said Riggs. “They know the play is the way it is because of their voice, because they had an opinion and said something.”
Cameron Rodine, a seventh-grader who plays the title character, said he has appreciated that freedom.
“It makes the play different in unexpected ways, and that’s good,” he said. “It’s a great show. It’s just really fun and people should come to see it.”
Performances are at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 6-7, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, in the DHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 at the door; preschool age children and under get in free.
Growing on stage
While young, Rodine and some of his fellow actors are already veterans on the stage. Rodine’s rival, the Sheriff of Nottingham, is played by sixth-grader Jack Hohenstein, who is appearing in his seventh production.
“I feel like plays help you develop good speaking skills, good singing skills, and also a lot of confidence in what you can do with your voice,” Hohenstein said.
Kiersten Koets, a seventh-grader who made her acting debut last year as the title character of Junie B. Jones, was enthusiastic about returning to the stage this fall as Mortiana the Witch after thoroughly enjoying her first experience.
“I like the chance to be a different character, have a different personality,” she said. “And it really develops the strength of your voice because you have to project to the whole auditorium.”
Rodine, who relishes the sword-fighting action in Robin Hood, said participating in theater helps develop social skills and more.
“It really opens you up and gives you a lot more confidence in yourself because you’re up on stage in front of everyone,” he said. “Plus, you meet a bunch of great people and have a lot of fun.”
At various times in her career Riggs has worked with Children’s Theatre Company, the Eden Prairie Players, Buffalo Community Theater and Maple Grove Senior High School as an intern, props master and assistant director. She holds an associate in fine arts degree in theatre as well as a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts with an emphasis on acting and directing.
She will continue working with the Maple Grove Senior High one act production this year, and will also be Delano’s one act director.
“I was their age, in sixth grade, when I started in theatre,” Riggs said. “Until then I was never an expressive child. I was always very quiet and mild mannered. I never had an opinion. When I started acting it really made me grow into the person that I am and it fostered a love, a passion I will always have now. I started in the theater at 12 and I have never looked back. I said, ‘That’s my life, my career, my everything.’”
In Delano, Riggs has enjoyed working with the students and said many of them fit their roles perfectly. Through the process she hopes the actors will gain leadership skills, become comfortable self-advocating, learn to laugh at themselves, build confidence and find a place they belong.
“All the things that will help them grow and take on the world,” she said.
As for Robin Hood, Riggs was pleased with how the preparations have proceeded.
“I love every second of the chaos,” she said with a laugh. “And it’s all coming together now.”
Robin Hood (Cameron Rodine), Maid Marian (Katie Harder), Alfred/Friar Tuck (Wyatt Nelson), Maid Marian’s Maid (Danielle Green) Little John (Luke Grosshuesch), Will Scarlet/King Richard (Drew Nielsen), Allan Adale (Joey Taylor), Will Stutly (Connor McAllister), Princess Joan (Maia Timonen), Sheriff of Nottingham/Poor Father (Jack Hohenstein), First Guard (Anya Scandrett), Second Guard (Carmen Mannor), First Deputy (Evielynn Rentz), Second Deputy (Abby Wadholm), Third Deputy (Grace Reither), Fourth Deputy (Olivia Madson), First Lady (Clara Lawrence), Second Lady (Leigh Anderson), Third Lady (Miriam Hoopman), Fourth Lady (Hannah Wadholm), Fifth Lady (Hannah Werder), Sixth Lady (Sydney Kazin), First Young Lady (Gloria Reither), Second Young Lady (Adisyn Sturman), Wool Merchant (Moriah Tonsberg), Wool Merchant’s Son (Sydney Hintermeister), Wool Merchant’s First Daughter (Katelyn Snidarich), Wool Merchant’s Second Daughter (AnneRose Gust), Poor Mother (Jenna Daily), First Poor Child (Carlie Cappelleri), Second Poor Child (Emme McCullough), Mortiana the Witch (Kiersten Koets), Tournament Judge (Lily Hanson), Priest (Faith Tellers)