Meet the Director: Robin Hood

Kurt-Wobken---CrisCassell.jpgNOTES FROM THE DIRECTOR Who doesn’t know the timeless tale of Robin Hood as legend has it, the nobleman turned hero to the underclass and underdog, the man who “robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.“ He was the ethical criminal and thief “feared by the bad, loved by the good.”

We admire Robin Hood for his boldness in “redistributing the wealth.” We envy his defiance and rebellious outlaw freedom. He was a trickster who defeated his opponents not only with his skill in archery and swordplay, but also with his mocking wit, a symbol of justice and equity in the face of greed and tyranny.

No story of a hero is complete without a proper villain, the wicked Sheriff of Nottingham, who serves the evil Prince John. Or a romantic love interest in the person of Maid Marian, who when used as a decoy to bait and capture Robin Hood, falls in love with him at first sight, as he does with her. They truly meet their match in each other.

Add to this swashbuckling tale the raucous humor with which playwright Greg Banks infuses his version of Robin Hood, the loveable characters that populate Robin’s world, and plenty of excitement and audience involvement, and you have the perfect light entertainment for a summer’s evening at the Barn.

The concept for this production was inspired by Ron Krempetz’ delightful set design, with which he creates the 2D world of storybooks. This idea carried over into costumes and props, and sound design as well, reflecting the way that children manifest the world of their imagination by endowing whatever objects they have on hand. The story spills forth from the trunks downstage as from the wagons of the traveling players of old, across the stage and down into the house, and you see the transformation of character and place before your very eyes.

With our talented design team, able production crew, and energetic and inventive company of young actors who play multiple roles in this production, it has been a joyful experience bringing this classic tale to the stage. We hope you and yours have as much fun entering into the world of Robin Hood as we have!

Cris Cassell (Director) has worked as a theatre artist for over 25 years as an actor, di-
rector, and acting coach. She has directed shows for S.F. Fringe Festival, Bay Area One-
Act (BOA) Festival, C.A.F.E. at the Next Stage, San Francisco Theatre Festival, Thrillped-
dlers, Marin Fringe Festival at Dominican University, and Ross Valley Players RAW. This is her 15th production with RVP, prior to which she directed Arms and the Man, Enchanted April, The Night of the Iguana, Doubt, Top Girls, and A View From the Bridge, to name a few. Cris coordinates RVP’s Senior Play Reading Program at Villa Marin. She served as president of the board of RVP from 2012 to 2015, and stepped down from the board this June after six years of service. Cris is in her 18th year as an instructor of acting, speech, and theatre history at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

ROBIN  HOOD opens July 15 and runs through August 14, 2016. Tickets are available HERE.


Meet the Cast: Robin Hood

Ariana-Mahallati---headshot3.jpgAriana Mahallati (Marian/Much) makes her Ross Valley Players debut, and she couldn’t be more excited! Her first onstage experience was roller skating in James Dunn’s The Comedy of Errors (Apprentice) at the College of Marin, and she has been trying (unsuccessfully) to convince directors to let her roller-skate in another play since. Recent credits include King Lear (Goneril), Dead Accounts (Jenny), and Misalliance (Hypatia Tarleton) at the College of Marin, where she has been a student for two years and where she first discovered her love of all things theatre.


Nicholas-Schwager---IMG_1118.jpgNicholas Schwager (Robin Hood) debuts in his first show at the Ross Valley Players and he is thrilled. Nicholas started theatre when he was at Redwood High School, where he played such roles as the young soldier Simon Chachava in Caucasian Chalk Circle, as well as the self-absorbed and overly-ambitious new reporter Wally Winston in the Marx Brothers’ classic musical Animal Crackers. Nicholas went on to the College of Marin, where he played playboy pilot Joey Percival, in Misalliance. Nicholas also played Oswald in King Lear. A young filmmaker and screen-writer, Nicholas creates his own content for personal projects, such as his short web-series Biz-Guys, a stylized documentary which follows the life of an aloof teenager trying to be successful in his foolhardy business ventures. Watch Biz-Guys on YouTube HERE.

ROBIN HOOD opens July 15 and runs through August 14, 2016. Tickets are available HERE.


Meet the Cast: Robin Hood

Cory-Anderson---Cory-Anderson-Headshot-2.jpgCory Anderson (Little John/Soldier) grew up performing throughout the Bay Area before earning degrees in Drama and Music from Kenyon College. She made her professional debut in Ross Valley Players’ Once Upon a Mattress and is thrilled to return to the Barn. She has performed extensively for both American and international audiences with Walt Disney World and Royal Caribbean Productions. Favorite roles include Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Margrethe in Copenhagen and Snowflake in Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade and Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (TV). In addition to work as an actor, she has appeared with Parthenon Ballet Company (Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella and Maid in The Nutcracker),toured and recorded with the Kenyon College Chamber Singers, and recently wrote her first cookbook.

Pablo-Hamlin---Pablo-Hamlin's-headshot.jpgPablo Hamlin (Prince John/Will/Friar) is delighted to be making his debut with the Ross Valley Players. Pablo recently finished a tour of Aladdin with East Bay Children’s Theatre, a theatre company that travels to numerous underprivileged schools who have never experienced theatre before. Not so long ago he also participated in the Green House Festival at Z Space. Other credits include The Wedding Singer, The Learned Ladies, Translations, and Measure for Measure, all performed at San Francisco State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance. When he’s not acting onstage, Pablo house manages and manages the administrative offices at Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley. At the same time, he is currently employed as a box office associate at Brava for Women in the Arts in San Francisco.

20150407_152319Izaak Heath (Sheriff)is a student at College of Marin majoring in theatre. He hopes to make a career out of acting and move on to film. He has done many plays in the area including the recent King Lear and Gossamer at College of Marin and Pirates of Penzance at Ross Valley Players. He lives in Marin with his brothers.

ROBIN  HOOD opens July 15 and runs through August 14, 2016. Tickets are available HERE.