The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

January 16, 2013

Home schoolers perform 'Robin Hood' with a twist

EDMOND — A group of home schoolers will present an original version of “Robin Hood” this Friday and Saturday at Oklahoma Christian Academy in Edmond.

Two 19-year-old home schooled students, Kinsey Smith and Elise Seldenrust, graduated in May of last year, but they began their directing career when they were 16 doing an adaptation of the “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.” It was so successful the girls decided to try again.

“One day Kelsey called me up and asked me if I would like to help her direct a play she had adapted from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’” Elise said. “The play had 43 cast members and 20 in the crew. We were 15 and I don’t know what we were thinking.”

The play went over so well the girls began working on a new play based on the story of Robin Hood.

Getting to start with an idea people are familiar with and create a story loyal to the legend of Robin Hood while creating a character everyone likes was difficult but rewarding, Elise said.

“The play has a lot of twists in it, and our parents don’t even know what happens in the story,” Elise said. “It is our own twist on the Robin Hood story, and it took about a year to come up with the plot and took about another year to write it.”

The idea the girls came up with was what would happen if Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham were friends when they were growing up.

“When they were 15 they were separated, and they met again 5 years later,” Kinsey said. “The story is based on our take of the tension between them.”

The play has 38 students in it with ages ranging from 12 to 22, and all of them are or were home schooled.

The girls worked together on the script, and Elise wrote the music that will be incorporated into the play, Kinsey said.

“I think the hardest part was writing the script,” Elise said, “because of the creative energy it takes to make people sympathetic to the characters.”

Elise added being an authority figure over her peers and the responsibility for setting the atmosphere for the rehearsals to go well were the hardest part of preparing the show.

“It has been a lot of fun and we have been really blessed,” Kinsey said.

The families of the students joined in from making costumes to sets.

“Our parents as well as the cast members made most of the costumes,” Kinsey said.

“Our dads volunteered to make the sets, and they worked in the afternoons,” Elise said.  

“This will be an absolute delight to all who see it. It is a completely student-led project, independent of any school or institution, but isn’t a little backyard play,” said Angela Smith, Kinsey’s mom.

Robin Hood is a full-scale production with sound effects including originally composed music, a medieval dance scene and stage combat.

“The finished product is so stunning that it would seem a successful feat for adults to have accomplished but adults have had little to do with this amazing venture,” Angela said.

“This production is extremely entertaining as well as presents a deep message of sacrifice, forgiveness and hope. It challenges the audience to do what is right when it is not fair, even when it costs everything. It truly will not disappoint (members of the audience),” she added.

Performances will be at Oklahoma Christian Academy, 1101 E. Ninth St. in Edmond at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

As of Tuesday 350 tickets had been sold.

Tickets may be purchased for $8 each online by going to www.showclix.com and searching “robin hood,” or they may be purchased for $10 each at the door, Elise said.

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