ARTS CORNER

Nearly 100 people showed up for the production of “Robyn Hood and the Merry Dames of Skagwood Forest.” The fight scene, choreographed by Susie Thiel, was a highlight of the performance. ACC

Merry Dames shine in the Skagwood Forest

By ARDYCE CZUCHNA-CURL
What could have been a dark and stormy night turned out to be a delightful evening as the wind died down. Darkness prevailed, but the rain stopped long enough for the performance of “Robyn Hood and the Merry Dames of Skagwood Forest” in the woods near the Frisbee Golf Course August 25.
Fifteen players performed for an audience of nearly 100 who brought flashlights and sat around a bonfire in the woods for the late night performance directed by Margeaux Heaton of the Days of ’98 Show.
Written by Nikki Pappas and choreographed by Susie Thiel, also from the’98 Show, the satire was fun and entertaining. Good natured humor was evident as the competition between local shops and corporate businesses raged. Scenes depicting the stereotypical cruise ship passengers, searching for the corporate shops brought laughs from the audience.
But the show put forth a serious message as well. Speaking after the show, Pappas said there’s room for both corporate and local enterprises, but that the buzz around town is that a number of local businesses are suffering and need community support. For example, when a visitor asks directions or recommendations for a cafe or a gallery, Pappas suggests they be directed to local shops.
“The (tax) system may need reform,” she said, “but it can start with individuals. Word of mouth is a huge thing.”
Most cast members were from the’98 Show, but with community support they recruited others for the production as well.
The narrator, played by Renee Koher, wearing a bowler hat, tied the show together. Throughout the production the battle raged between Robyn Hood, played by Pappas, and the Sheriff of Nottingham and Skagwood Forest, played by Jonathan Baldwin, who plays Soapy Smith in the’98 Show.
A fight scene between Robyn’s troop and the Sheriff’s crew was outstanding; and the modern dance number by Thiel deserves special recognition.
Other players included Erika Franz playing Toady, the sidekick of the sheriff, Heather Hunter as Spike, Mario Taffara as “Made” Sebastian, and Terry Chandler as “Made” Marian. Playing the tourists were Denise Andersen, Rachael Grad, Brendan Nguyen, and Tom Simek.
Shane Horton, Patrick Farnell,Tom Simek, Caleb Raney and Mick Denker provided music with guitar, banjo, flute and drums.
After the success of Midsummer Nights Dream last summer, Pappas said she and the troop wanted to do another production in the woods. The Robyn Hood idea fit that criteria.
“I couldn’t find a version of the story we liked, so I decided to write our own,” said Pappas who just completed a degree from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a major in theater arts and a minor in women’s studies.
Following the performance, more than $400 in donations was collected by the F.O.E. # 25 Ladies Auxiliary of the Eagles who will use the money for scholarships. to Skagway every other year since the centennial celebration in 2000.