By Sue Moore
“The heart of the Robin Hood legend is a tale reminding us to look out for the weakest, stand up for injustice and to strive to be the best versions of ourselves,” according to director Melissa Sparks. The play “The Heart of Robin Hood” will take the stage at the Vicksburg Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.
David Farr’s The Heart of Robin Hood was developed in 2011 for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It contains many Shakespearean devices, including the heroine dressed as a boy to assimilate with the merry men. But it still feels current and contemporary in the writing and style. “I always love giving our high school students some important messages, challenging texts and some new skills,” Sparks said about choosing the play.
In this production, every student has learned both armed and unarmed stage combat for the show. Not only are there many swashbuckling scenes, there are also these great acting moments where the characters are honest, authentic and show humor, sadness, anger and, of course, love. Sparks said, “we are also creating some live music for the performance, played mostly by the ‘clown’ character and Marion’s sidekick, Pierre. Pierre is played by senior Graham Donelson.”
This is a fun, modern take on the Robin Hood tale full of sword fights, romance, comedy and fun. While there are some dark moments in this play, there is also great fun. “When it was performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, they encouraged it for audiences aged nine and up because of the violence in the play. I would encourage the same,” she said.
In the spirit of Robin Hood, the players are collecting items for Generous Hands, Inc which provides Friday backpacks of food to Vicksburg school children in need. Every donation will receive a raffle ticket to win one of the prizes in the raffle. They are looking for donations of: jars of peanut butter (18 oz.); applesauce cups; mac ‘n cheese; granola bars; fruit cups; bottles of water; oatmeal packets; canned tuna and chicken; toothpaste (4 or 6 oz.); and cans of soup.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 students, and $2 more the day of the event. Call 269-321-1193 or visit https://tix5.centerstageticketing.com/sites/vicksburg/.