Last year the NOLA Project adapted Lewis Carroll’s stories about Alice in NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden as an interactive, Choose Your Own Adventure-style production that was kid-friendly on the surface but had a dark undercurrent in its messages about power and leadership. In a similar vein, the theater company presents Robin Hood: Thief, Brigand, a retelling of the Robin Hood story by New Orleans playwright Andrew Vaught of Cripple Creek Theater. In Andrew Vaught’s witty adaptation, Robin Hood and his gang intercept a chest full of gold coins they believe to be from the land’s wealthiest citizens – actually, it’s a ransom payment for King Richard, who’s imprisoned in France while on a religious crusade. They distribute the gold to the poor, but tumult results when Robin Hood’s giving results in the creation of a new middle class. Using the sylvan setting of the sculpture garden, the production aims to be an immersive, unique theater experience. Vaught talked to us about the production.
What’s your take on Robin Hood in this adaptation? A lot of the times you see the Robin Hood origin story, how Robin Hood came to be Robin Hood, but this goes past that. Robin Hood and his people are reaching the limit of what they can do in their jobs. They’re getting a little too big, a little too good.
How does this adaptation relate to today’s world? There’s always the question of leadership: who is ruling us, who is actually ruling us, who should be ruling us. It also explores (the idea of) how do you make people’s lives better, really?
Adventures in Wonderland was very interactive. Will Robin Hood be similar? It won’t be interactive; there will be some spectacular surprises.
Wonderland was kid-friendly but had some more mature themes for adults.
Richard Alexander Pomes [who does public relations for] the NOLA Project said it’s for “ages 6 to 65.”
Robin Hood: Thief, Brigand is at NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden from May 6-24. Information, NOLAproject.com