To direct, we enlisted one
of the Bay Area’s hottest young directors, Cliff Mayotte, whose Rough and Tumble Theatre Company
was enjoying massive success and artistic accolades.
We loved working with Cliff and we loved the group
of actors assembled for the production. We loved the
gorgeous set, the colorful and inventive costumes
playfully created by K. C. Wallace. But somehow, the
show didn’t entirely resonate with Marin audiences.
Something about the style of the writing, which had
obviously tickled folks in Idaho, was not quite sophisticated
enough for Marin. And the play was a little too grown-up
for children. Although we felt in many ways it was
a better show than Peter Pan, the audience
response wasn’t quite the same.
We learned that what’s a blockbuster
in Idaho can turn out to be merely good in California.
We don’t regret anything about the production. It
was well done and entertaining – and it did have a
great message about the importance of the poor and
Many wonderful things -- friendships and working relationships
-- came out of that production. The best one is certainly
Julian Mayotte, son of Cliff and Louise Chegwidden,
who met during Robin Hood. While not the
first Marin Shakespeare romance (by a long shot) and
not the first Marin Shakespeare baby, Julian is perhaps
the first (but not last) baby who might not be here
if it weren’t for Marin Shakespeare Company – now
that’s what we call a great production.
From the Playbill –
“I believe that, more than any character
of the past thousand years, Robin Hood embodies the
qualities of a popular hero. He is a working class
hero, someone we can see and talk to and share a tankard
of ale with; the ‘Sir Robin’ of some versions is a
much later addition. His abilities are not god-given
by earned through hard work and skill.
Ultimately, Robin represents something modern man
truly feels: a yearning for freedom and justice in
a world growing steadily more complex, with all the
accompanying danger and responsibility that freedom
and justic bestow. Nigro wreaks wonderful havoc on
the Robin Hood archetype. He managers to recreate
our shared mythology, telling a story both historical
and accessible, running the gamut from ‘Olde English’
to Mel Brooks. It confounds and exceeds our expectations,
like seeing a new personality trait in an old friend
and being pleasantly surprised.”