Up & Coming Weekly

May 07, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 8-14, 2019 UCW 15 Review: Sweet Tea Shakespeare's 'Maid Marian' is enchanting by ELIZABETH BLEVINS I was recently invited to view Sweet Tea Shakespeare's "Maid Marian" at the historic 1897 Poe House. e production was enchant- ing. e brick-paved courtyard was lined with homemade quilts and Turkish carpets for guests to sit on while enjoying the show. e cast interacted with guests, introducing one another, explaining the history of the play and creating opportunities for the audience to enjoy it on many levels. STS raffled a walk-on part to audience members, which proved to be a hilarious addition to the production. STS also auctioned an opportunity to sit on a fabulous velvet lounge. e story of Robin Hood has enthralled audiences since the 16th century, but Jessica Osnoe, an actress and playwright with the company, has reimagined it from a decidedly female perspective for the company's Honey Series, celebrating women in theater. It would have been easy for Osnoe to take a hyper- feminist perspective in her rewrite, depicting men as accessories and usurping the traditional legend of Robin Hood for Marian. But Osnoe used a gentle ap- proach, implying Marian's evolution as a vigilante, or benefactor to the masses, ran parallel with Robin Hood. Instead of removing him from the scenario, she created a level playing field on which they met as true equals. is, in turn, leaves the audience with the hope of their eventual romance. e play begins as the devious Sheriff of Notting- ham suggests his disciple, Guy of Gisborne, marry Lady Marian so he might control her family's estate — and their profit. e high-borne Marian, played by Jen Pommerenke, and her younger sister Emma, played by Laura Voytko, abandon the estate and flee to Sherwood Forest with several women from the village. Marian and Emma are joined by Marian's cousin Eleanor, played by Osnoe. ey teach other women to fight, then disguise themselves as performers so they can move about the countryside without draw- ing the sheriff 's attention. en, they plunder! ey rob the rich to feed the poor in proper Robin Hood tradition. Marian and her all-girl gang establish themselves as legends amongst the villagers and proper criminals with the sheriff and Sir Guy. Pommerenke wows the audience with her performance. She gives depth to what has tra- ditionally been a two-dimensional character. Her Marian is strong, innovative and, at times, humorous. Voytko fearlessly introduces Marian's sister Emma to the world. She's precocious and un- apologetic, educated and playfully charming. And Osnoe brings strength and determina- tion to the character of Eleanor. She's a stabi- lizing influence for Marian, a voice of reason in their world of chaos. Remaining show dates for "Maid Marian" are May 9-12. e shows begin at 7:30 p.m., and there is a preshow at 6:45 p.m. General admission is $25. Advance general admission is $17.50. Advance senior/military admission is $15, and advance stu- dent tickets are $10. EVENT Jen Pommerenke as Maid Marian (left) and Laura Voytko as Emma Fitz- walter, Maid Marian's sister (right) M A G A Z I N E Inspire. Educate. Empower. Celebrate. facebook.com/pg/WomensViewMagazine • 910-484-6200 ELIZABETH BLEVINS, Up & Com- ing Weekly Correspondent. COM- MENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200.

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