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2011/12 Press Releases
Arden Theatre Company presents Robin Hood
By Greg Banks, Directed by Matthew Decker, On the Arcadia Stage, April 25-June 24, 2012
Media Photos

March 30, 2012

(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company presents Robin Hood by Greg Banks as the second selection of its 2011/12 Children’s Series. Arden Associate Producer Matthew Decker directs the play recommended for families with children ages 5 and older. Robin Hood will begin performances on the Arcadia Stage on April 25 and has already been extended by popular demand through June 24, 2012.

Audiences are invited to enter Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood, the legendary hero. Wielding a bow and arrow, Robin and his merry men join forces to stand up for what’s right. This athletic and modern take on the fabled story features trickery, disguises, swordfights, live music and plenty of help from the audience.

At the helm of this production is Matthew Decker, winner of the 2011 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Theatre Horizon, where he is co-founder and resident director. “I couldn’t be more excited to take this well-known story of Robin Hood and turn it into an interactive, physical, playful production on the Arden’s stage,” says Decker, who makes his Arden directing debut with this production.

The Arden’s Robin Hood conjures a playground-like atmosphere, with a set of recycled materials, contemporary costumes with traditional accents, and musical instruments incorporated into the playing space. In this world, found objects turn into bows and arrows, as well as transform actors into multiple characters. The team creating this playful and surprising world includes scenic designer Tom Gleeson (Peter Pan, The Threepenny Opera), costume designer Rosemarie E. McKelvey (Charlotte’s Web; Barrymore Award winner for Something Intangible and Caroline, or Change), lighting designer Justin Townsend (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson on Broadway, The Arden’s Sunday in the Park with George and Caroline, or Change), sound designer and composer Daniel Perelstein (Shipwrecked at People’s Light, Romeo and Juliet at the Lantern), and choreographer Jenn Rose (The Flea and the Professor).

The ensemble cast of five includes four actors returning to the Arden’s stage: Sean Lally as troubled and heroic Robin Hood (Romeo and Juliet, A Moon for the Misbegotten), Ian Merrill Peakes as the villainous Sherriff of Nottingham (Clybourne Park, Barrymore Award for Something Intangible), Steve Pacek as the intellectual Will Scarlet, the sniveling Prince John, and the oversized Friar Tuck (Clybourne Park, The Borrowers, Barrymore nomination for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie), and Charlotte Ford as brave, sword-wielding Maid Marian (Franklin’s Apprentice). Carl Clemons-Hopkins (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Theatre Horizon, Rent at 11th Hour Theatre Co) makes his Arden debut as outlaw Little John.

The Arden dedicates the same resources to theatre productions for families as their mainstage work, especially by hiring the same designers and actors. Arden Children’s Theatre was recently awarded two Barrymore Awards for the 2011 production of The Flea and the Professor, including Outstanding Production of a Musical. This season’s production of Charlotte’s Web became the highest attended show in the company’s history, bringing over 34,000 audience members into the theatre.

Following every performance of Robin Hood, children participate in a post-show question and answer session with the cast, and afterwards have an opportunity to meet the actors in the lobby. All children also receive a free commemorative show poster to take home. Weekday performances are held at 10am to accommodate thousands of schoolchildren. Over 2,500 students will attend the production free of charge through the Arden for All program, which also provides books, transportation and in-school lessons from professional teaching artists to communities with little or no arts access.

Robin Hood begins performances on Wednesday, April 25, with previews through April 28. Opening night is set for 7pm Saturday, April 28, 2012. Closing is set for Sunday, June 24. The 2011/12 season of Arden Children’s Theatre is proudly sponsored by Comcast /Sprout.

Single ticket prices are $16-$32, with discounted ticket prices for kids and teens. Groups of 20+ enjoy significant discounts, with additional resources and classes available for teachers; please inquire for rates. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org / www.robinhoodinphilly.com or visit the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.

The Arden is proud to announce the Target 2 for 1 Family Series, a ticket discount program generously sponsored by Target. This program offers two tickets for the price of one during selected performances of Robin Hood. Please refer to the show calendars at www.ardentheatre.org for the designated performances. There is a limit of four discounted orders (8 tickets) per transaction, available while supplies last. When ordering online or by phone, reference code TARGET.

The Arden is wheelchair accessible and provides assisted listening devices and large-print programs at every performance. Reservations are required for accessible seating and may be made by calling the Arden’s Box Office at 215.922.1122. ASL interpretation is available at select performances. The Arden works with Hands UP Productions to present shadow-signed performances, where interpreters are part of the action. These performances will be held on Friday, May 18 at 10am and Saturday, June 9 at 4pm.

Arden Theatre Company also offers Arden Drama School, a wide array of classes and day camps for pre-school through high school aged children. Special acting classes taught by the cast of Robin Hood will take place on:
Monday, May 7 – 4-6:30pm for grades 3-5
Tuesday, May 8 – 4-5:30pm for grades K-2
Monday, May 14 – 4-6:30pm for grades 3-5
Details on all Arden Drama School classes can be found online at www.ardendramaschool.com Arden Drama School is sponsored by Susquehanna Bank.

To further enhance the performance experience, kids ages seven and older are invited to join the Family Usher Network (FUN) with their adult chaperones. FUN gives kids a behind-the-scenes peek at how plays are created, instills the value of community involvement and teaches valuable social skills. FUN ushers receive an exclusive backstage tour, hand out programs, tear tickets, seat patrons and help straighten up the theatre after the show. For information call the box office at 215.922.1122.

WHAT:
Robin Hood

By Greg Banks
Directed by Matthew Decker

SUMMARY:
Enter Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood, the legendary hero! Wielding a bow and arrow, Robin and his merry men join forces to stand up for what’s right. This athletic take on the fabled story features trickery, disguises, swordfights, live music and plenty of help from the audience.

WHERE:
Arden Theatre Company
Arcadia Stage
40 N. 2nd Street, Old City Philadelphia 19106

WHEN:
April 25 - June 24, 2012
Preview performances: April 25-28, 2012
Opening night: 7pm Saturday, April 28, 2012

TICKETS:
$29-$48 for adults depending on the performance chosen
Group discounts available for 10+
Student Rush tickets at the door only five minutes before curtain for $5 cash, pending availability (must present valid student ID)
Call the Box Office at 215.922.1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org or www.robinhoodinphilly.com

CAST:
Carl Clemons-Hopkins (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Little John
Charlotte Ford (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Maid Marian
Sean Lally (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Robin Hood
Steve Pacek (Resident of Philadelphia, PA) - Will Scarlet, Prince John, Friar Tuck
Ian Merrill Peaks (Resident of Merchantville,NJ) - Sheriff of Nottingham

ARTISTIC STAFF:
Matthew Decker - Director
Tom Gleeson - Set Designer
Rosemarie E. McKelvey - Costume Designer
Justin Townsend - Lighting Designer
Daniel Perelstein - Sound Designer and Composer
Jenn Rose - Fight Choreographer
Alec E. Ferrell - Stage Manager

ARDEN CHILDREN'S THEATRE SEASON SPONSOR:
Comcast / Sprout

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS:
Harmelin Media, The Franklin Fountain, Hatboro Beverages


# # #
Reviewing members of the press are invited to all opening nights and may reserve tickets through Leigh Goldenberg at lgoldenberg@ardentheatre.org.

Arden Theatre Company is located at 40 North 2nd Street in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.

The Arden’s 2011/12 season includes:
  • Cyrano by Edmond Rostand, Translated by Michael Hollinger, Adapted by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner - March 8-April 15, 2012
  • Robin Hood by Greg Banks – April 25-June 24, 2012
  • Tulipomania: The Musical by Michael Ogborn – May 24-July 1, 2012

Subscriptions for the 2012/13 season are now available. Subscribers enjoy significant savings on tickets, the best choice of seats and a liberal ticket exchange policy. Call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, order online at www.ardentheatre.org, or visit the box office.

Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers on stage, in the classroom, and in the community. We stage five productions each season as part of our mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children’s Theatre, the city’s first resident professional children’s theatre program. We create and produce new work through our new-work development program, the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden Professional Apprentice program trains future theatre leaders, and our theatre classes through Arden Drama School teach children and teens about the craft of making plays. Our access program, Arden for All, makes our work available to the entire community through subsidized tickets and books for economically disadvantaged young people. We also offer sign language-interpreted, captioned and audio described performances and Pay-What-You-Can final dress rehearsals that benefit other nonprofits.

The Arden recently announced an expansion with the Hamilton Family Arts Center, a 22,000 square foot building located three doors north of the Arden at 62 N. 2nd Street. Once renovations are complete in 2013, this building will be a home for process and innovation, including seven classrooms for Arden Drama School, a rehearsal hall, an 80-seat Studio Theatre, Lobby, Parent Lounge, and Teacher Resource Center, and a Crafts Studio for construction of set and props. Details about the Hamilton Family Arts Center can be found online at www.ardentheatre.org/new.

The Arden has received seven Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” Awards, the Arts and Business Council’s Arts Excellence Award, five City Paper “Reader’s Choice” Awards, four Philadelphia Inquirer “Theatre Company of the Year” citations, 53 awards and 272 nominations from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia’s Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, and was named “Best Theatre Company” by Philadelphia Weekly in 2009.
©2012 Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106. For tickets, call 215.922.1122.
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