Upper School Play: Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood

Rehearsal begins with a meeting. What needs work, what has been successful. What is on the menu for dinner tonight.  When the meeting ends, students disperse in the Black Box Theater, tucking away behind curtains and finding their spots on stage. The costume department is whisked away for last-minute touches. Stage managers call down lighting cues from above. It’s hectic, but there is a sense of preparedness and excitement that is unmistakable. Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood opens at Beaver in a matter of days.

The play, which is described as “a gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale,” focuses on Robin Hood, who is actually Maid Marian in disguise. Marian leads a motley group of Merry Men against the greedy Prince John. As the story progresses, a question demands answering—what is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble?

“Anticipation is building, we are working on a lot of scenes,” explains Owen Eddy ’25, who portrays Prince John in the upcoming play. On stage, Owen is tasked with a difficult role; “He’s not good. He’s sexist, he’s a slob, he can’t fight.” Despite playing the main villain of the production, Owen is proud of what the show has to say. “I don’t think a lot of plays tackle gender and identity as much as this one does. It’s something new, something refreshing.”

Students involved in Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood had an opportunity this semester that not many thespians have—meeting with the playwright of their show! Adam Szymkowicz, who penned both Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood and The Bookstore, Beaver’s recent Middle School play, chatted with the cast in crew in October about his work. Students asked about their characters, the theater industry, and how Szymkowicz found his love for writing. By speaking with him, the cast and crew developed a deeper appreciation and understanding of the story they will soon bring to life.

For some on the cast and crew, being involved in theater is entirely new. For Ginny Moremen ’23, that is not the case. “I’ve been doing theater at Beaver since 6th grade, but I’ve been doing theater in general since I was 7 years old.” Ginny plays Marian/Robin Hood in the show. When asked about her character, Ginny lights up. “She doesn’t have to subscribe to gender roles to be the leader she wants to be … She can do anything she sets her mind to, which is a message I really want to spread to young girls.” Ginny is proud of the work she has done onstage, but she’s also proud of what the Performing Arts community at Beaver does offstage. “The Performing Arts community is so welcoming. They are so kind, regardless of your age or role. Friends can be made very easily here.”

Sir Theo the Punctual is portrayed by Sam Fishman ’25. “I’m basically one of the king’s assistants. I do his dirty work.” Sam enjoys the opportunity to play dumb on stage, leaning into the comedic elements of his character. “I really like the show because it’s different from my normal life. Outside of being an actor, I’m starting catcher on the baseball team and am usually all baseball, all day. For a couple of hours each day, it’s fun to get out of that.”

You can catch Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood on November 10, 11, and 12 at 7 p.m. in Black Box Theater. You can purchase tickets to any performance here.

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