The Hinman Production Company (HPC) will transport its audience to Nottingham, England this weekend as they perform “Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood.” The play is a modern retelling of “Robin Hood” and it brings to light ideas of gender, sexuality and patriarchal society.
In this 2015 rewrite of the 15th-century tale of Robin Hood, each of the classic characters is given new story lines and back stories to better adapt the play to modern times.
The title character, Maid Marian, is played by Natalie Lista, the president of HPC and a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience. In the original folktale, Maid Marian is Robin Hood’s love interest. However, this adaptation empowers Marian to be her own hero, to be Robin Hood herself. Additionally, her trustworthy band of outlaws, the Merry Men, is composed of mainly women.
The Merry Men fight against greedy Prince John, played by Brian Walsh, a junior double-majoring in economics and English, and battle the limits society has placed on them as women.
“Playing the villain can always be fun,” Walsh said. “Prince John is so petulant and angry and too easy to figure out. He’s a person with many modern analogues. His behavior is timeless.”
Liska Gutierrez, a junior double-majoring in history and anthropology, stars as the invested narrator Alanna Dale, who identifies as LGBTQ in the play.
“We’ve expanded on some of the other explorations of gender,” Gutierrez said. “There’s a character in the show that is agender. Since so much of the show is about how gender is expressed and how it acts in society, we are excited to express different demographics.”
The characters undergo transformations that give them new ways of thinking about their identities. Director Christine McCune, a senior triple-majoring in psychology, sociology and human development, said she believes these developments will leave an impression on University students.
“They will find themselves in the show,” McCune said. “All characters are all young with big dreams.”
This is McCune’s third year as a member of HPC and “Marian” will be her last show before graduation. McCune said that being a part of HPC has given her the confidence to express herself creatively and as a person.
“The whole thing has been absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “I adored directing. It’s been a ride figuring out scripts and taking these great ideas and concepts and bringing them to life. It’s been a ton of fun and it has been a dream come true.”
The play will run at the Hinman Commons from Thursday, March 22 through Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. with an additional show at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets will be sold at the door for $5 for students and faculty, $8 for the general public.