Timber Lake stages ‘The Commedia Robin Hood’ May 7-10

The cast of TLP’s “The Commedia Robin Hood” includes Michael Perlongo (in door) (from left), Erica Gunaca and Shane Montgomery Schmidt.
The cast of TLP’s “The Commedia Robin Hood” includes Michael Perlongo (in door) (from left), Erica Gunaca and Shane Montgomery Schmidt.

Online Staff Report

MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. — The Magic Owl Children’s Theatre at Timber Lake Playhouse (TLP) presents a new telling of the Robin Hood tale, designed specifically for young audiences. Each year, TLP, the professional summer theatre of northwest Illinois, produces a spring show for schools in the region, offering thousands of young people their first exposure to live theater. This year, the company has opened up ticket sales to the general public.

The Commedia Robin Hood by Lane Riosley will be performed at the playhouse from Wednesday, May 7, through Saturday, May 10, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. Associate Artistic Director — and long-time TLP favorite — Courtney Crouse directs a cast chosen from auditions around the country. All tickets for Robin Hood are $5, as this program is partially sponsored by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, through federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In The Commedia Robin Hood, a merry troupe of actors — Columbine, Arlequin, Punchin and Rosetta — tackle, tumble, trick and trip their way through the tale of Robin Hood with fantastic abandon. Get ready for action-packed clowning with puppets, stilts, singing, patter verse and fun mock-combat in this unforgettable adaptation.

Commedia dell’arte, Italian for “comedy of the professional artists,” was a popular form of improvisational theater that began in Italy in the 15th Century and continued in its appeal for centuries. At that time, all performances were unscripted and held outdoors, with simple props and inventive scenery. The influence of commedia dell’arte is evident in much of our contemporary comedy, most notably in those great comedy artists of the 20th century, the Marx Brothers.

Some performances are already sold out, so advance tickets are suggested. Walk-ups to a sold-out show will still be accommodated with folding chairs. TLP is at 8215 Black Oak Road in rural Mount Carroll, Ill. Tickets are $5 and available at the box office, by calling (815) 244-2035 or visiting www.timberlakeplayhouse.org. The show is appropriate for all ages.

Posted May 7, 2014

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