Timber Lake Playhouse Presents
Preview Guide for Teachers and Parents
May 7-10, 2014
www.timberlakeplayhouse.org
We hope you find this guide helpful in preparing your children for an
enjoyable and educational theatrical experience at Timber Lake Playhouse.
Included you’ll find things to talk about before and after seeing the
performance, classroom activities that deal with curriculum connections,
education standards and resource materials.
The Real Robin Hood
Over the course of 700 years, the outlaw from Nottinghamshire who robs from the
rich to give to the poor has emerged as one of the most enduring folk heroes in popular
culture and one of the most versatile. Beginning in the 15th century and perhaps even
earlier, Christian revelers in certain parts of England celebrated May Day with plays and
games involving a Robin Hood figure with near-religious significance. In the 19th century,
writer-illustrators like Howard Pyle adapted the traditional tales for children, popularizing
them in the United States and around the world. More recently, bringing Robin to the silver
screen has become a rite of passage for directors ranging from Michael Curtiz and Ridley
Scott to Terry Gilliam and Mel Brooks.
Academics, meanwhile, have combed the historical record for evidence of a real
Robin Hood. English legal records suggest that, as early as the 13th century, “Robehod,”
“Rabunhod” and other variations had become common nicknames for criminals. But what
had inspired these nicknames: a fictional tale, an infamous bandit or an amalgam of both?
The first literary references to Robin Hood appear in a series of 14th and 15th century
ballads about a violent yeoman who lived in Sherwood Forest with his men and frequently
clashed with the Sheriff of Nottingham. Rather than a peasant, knight or fallen noble, as in
later versions, the protagonist of these medieval stories is a commoner. Little John and Will
Scarlet are part of this Robin’s “merry” crew meaning, at the time, an outlaw’s gang but
Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale would not enter the legend until later, possibly as
part of the May Day rituals.
While most contemporary scholars have failed to turn up solid clues, medieval
chroniclers took for granted that a historical Robin Hood lived and breathed during the 12th
or 13th century. The details of their accounts vary widely, however, placing him in
conflicting regions and eras. Not until John Major’s “History of Greater Britain” (1521), for
example, is he depicted as a follower of King Richard, one of his defining characteristics in
modern times.
We may never know for sure whether Robin Hood ever existed outside the verses of
ballads and pages of books. What we do know is that the notion of a brave rebel who lives
on the outskirts of society, fighting injustice and oppression with his band of companions,
has universal appeal—whether he’s played by Erroll Flynn, Russell Crowe or even, as on a
1979 episode of “The Muppet Show,” Kermit the Frog.
Commedia dell’arte
Commedia dell'Arte, also known as "Italian comedy," was a humorous theatrical
presentation performed by professional players who traveled in troupes throughout Italy in
the 16th century. Performances took place on temporary stages, mostly on city streets, but
occasionally even in court venues. The better troupes—notably Gelosi, Confidenti, and
Fedeli—performed in palaces and became internationally famous once they traveled abroad.
Music, dance, witty dialogue, and all kinds of chicanery contributed to the comic effects.
Subsequently the art form spread throughout Europe, with many of its elements persisting
into present-day theater. The influence of commedia dell’arte is evident in much of our
contemporary comedy, most notably in the great commedia artists of the 20th century, the
Marx Brothers.
By: Lane Riosley
The merry troupe: 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 mock combat in this
unforgettable adaptation.
When presented today, the commedia players — such as Arlequin, Punchin, Rosetta,
Pantalone and Columbine — are portrayed as poor travelers who have made all their props
from objects they’ve found. Their costumes, with the commedia diamond pattern always
evident, are partly hand-made and partly inherited from wealthier people who either tired of
that fashion or thought better of it. The various talents of the actors’ acrobatics, dance,
music, quick wit and insight into human nature, all make the plays as entertaining and
relevant today as they were to the people of Renaissance Europe, when commedia
dell’arte was at its height of popularity.
The Author
Lane Riosley is a writer living and
working in Houston, Texas. She is the 1991
winner of the Roger L. Stevens Award in
Playwrighting from the Kennedy Center For the
Performing Arts' Fund for New American Plays.
Lane also has written a screenplay for KUHTTV/PBS television series CENTERSTAGE as
featured in the 1993 American Film Institute
Festival in Los Angeles, and she served as a
speaker at Theatrefest '93, the 43rd annual
convention of the Texas Educational Theatre
Association. Lane most recently served as a
panel speaker at Comicpalooza 2013.
Currently, Lane has 19 plays in publication, ten with Pioneer Drama. She is the
author of the Houston Museum of Natural Science Burke Baker Planetarium program and
Lucky Hightops and the Cosmic Cat Patrol, a six part science theatre series. Lane’s plays
have been produced by schools and theatres nationwide including The Taradiddle Players,
The Actor's Company of Burbank, The Little Top Theatre Company, The West Coast
Ensemble, The Texas Renaissance Festival, EarlyStages of Houston, Stages Repertory
Theatre, The Merry Go Round Theatre and the Asolo Theatre. She is an alumnus of the
Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Dance.
Disney’s Robin Hood
The most memorable Robin Hood for children is Walt Disney’s classic Robin Hood.
First released in November 1973, Robin Hood was the first Disney movie that was produced
after Walt Disney passed away. Some elements were taken from an earlier aborted
production, “Reynard the Fox”, which Disney had been involved in.
The film recounts the traditional stories of Robin Hood with the characters cast as
anthropomorphic animals. It is narrated by Alan-a-Dale who explains that while there are
many different versions to the Robin Hood legend, “we folks of the animal kingdom have
our own version.”
A long time ago, in a faraway land, legend tells
an extraordinary tale of courage and friendship.... Get
ready for swashbuckling adventure, unforgettable
characters, memorable music, and lots of laughs in
Disney's ROBIN HOOD. Heroic Robin Hood -- along
with his trusted companion Little John and his devoted
band of merry men -- conjures up one famously funny
and daring deed after another to outfox greedy Prince
John and bring happiness to the residents of Sherwood
Forest.
Robin Hood Lesson Plan Ideas
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Robin Hood Trivia Quiz
1. Where does Robin Hood live?
a. The Black Forest
b. The Lost Forest
c. Sherwood Forest
d. Neverland
2. What is often indicated to be Robin Hood's last name?
a. Locksley
b. Laramie
c. Landsinger
d. Lauria
3. What animal portrayed Robin Hood in the animated Disney movie version?
a. A bear
b. A fox
c. A badger
d. A wolf
4. Who often sings in the Robin Hood tales?
a. Allen A-Dale
b. Will Scarlet
c. Much
d. Marion's Hand Maid
5. In many versions of the story, what crime does Robin commit which brands him an
outlaw?
a. Trespassing
b. Poaching
c. Stealing
d. Hearsay
6. Which unusual character is added to the band of Merry Men in the 1991 film version
entitled Robin Hood Prince of Thieves?
a. Friar Tuck
b. Azeem
c. Will Scarlet
d. Allen
7. Which of these actors has never played the role of Robin Hood?
a. Tom Hanks
b. Kevin Costner
c. Douglas Fairbanks
d. Russell Crowe
8. Who wrote the theme music for the 1991 movie version Robin hood Prince of Thieves?
a. Elton John
b. Paul McCartney
c. Brain Adams
d. Phil Collins
9. Robin is always exceptional with which weapon?
a. Sword
b. Bow
c. Pole-arm
d. Quarter staff
10. What color does Robin and his men traditionally wear?
a. Browns
b. Lime Green
c. Lincoln Green
d. Emerald Green
11. Which of these characters is never a villain in the Robin Hood stories?
a. The Earl of Huntington
b. Sir Guy of Gisborne
c. The Sheriff of Nottingham
d. Prince John
12. Who often challenges Robin to a fight?
a. The sheriff
b. Will Scarlet
c. Little John
d. Much the miller's son
13. In most versions of the story, where is King Richard?
a. At war in Germany
b. On Crusade
c. In France
d. Sick
14. In Disney's version of Robin Hood, what kind of animal is the Kind’s advisor?
a. A rat
b. A snake
c. A boar
d. A vulture
15. In what year was Errol Flynn's version of the movie made?
a. 1962
b. 1957
c. 1938
d. 1977
Answers:
1. Sherwood Forest - Sherwood Forest is in Great Britain.
2. Locksley - In some versions, this is Marion's last name.
3. A fox - Little John is a bear.
4. Allen A-Dale - Allen is sometimes portrayed as a wandering minstrel who joins the
outlaws.
5. Poaching - Robin is often accused of killing one of the King's Deer.
6. Azeem - Azeem is a Moor from the Holy Lands.
7. Tom Hanks - Errol Flynn plays this character in one of the earliest films.
8. Brain Adams - The title track was called 'Everything I Do'.
9. Bow - Robin is also portrayed as a skilled swordsman.
10. Lincoln Green - They wear green to blend into the trees.
11. The Earl of Huntington - The Earl is normally Robin's father or Robin himself.
12. Little John - In many of the versions, Little John challenges Robin to a fight using the
quarterstaff.
13. On Crusade - In many versions of the tale, the King has left the country to go to the
Holy Lands.
14. A snake - The snake's name is Sir Hiss.
15. 1938 - Douglas Fairbanks played the role in 1922.
Robin Hood Games
Gold Coin Toss:
Throw plastic gold coins into a treasure chest. Set the chest on the floor (or table) about 6
feet from the base line where the students will be standing. Give them each 5 gold coins
and tell them to try and get the coins into the chest. To move on the group must get a
certain number of coins in the chest - a good challenging number is to multiply the number
of pirates x 4. They may have to try over and over to get the correct number in the chest …
which will make it challenging.
You Will need:
Gold Coins
Treasure Chest or Bucket to throw coins in
Coin Search Relay:
Help Robin Hood and his merry men find the kings hidden coins! Hide 100 pennies in a small
pool filled with sand (or bubbles and water in the summer). Teams race to see who can find
a coin, put it in their Robin Hood sack and gather the most coins at the end of 5 minutes.
Play several rounds.
You Will Need:
100 Pennies
Container for sand or water
Sacks for coins
Other items to hide in the sand to make it more difficult for older children
Making your own Robin Hood Hat
1. Start with a large sheet of green construction paper. The paper should be 18
by 12 inches (45.72 by 30.48 cm). Sturdier construction paper works better than
thin, flimsy color printer paper or newsprint because it holds the shape of the hat
better. Do not use stiff poster board, however, since poster board is a little too
unforgiving and difficult to fold.
2. Fold the paper in half. The new dimensions should be 9 by 12 inches (22.86 by
30.48 cm). Position the paper so that the fold is to your right.
3. Draw a curved line starting in the upper right-hand corner.[1] Use a pencil to
lightly sketch a curved line from the top right corner, where the fold starts, to a
position near the diagonal corner at the bottom left, where the paper opens. Your
line should end about 2 inches (5 cm) above the corner to make the brim easier to
fold later on.
4. Cut along the line. Use scissors to carefully cut along the line. Keep the paper
folded so that both sides are cut symmetrically.
5. Fold the first half of hat brim. While your paper is still folded, fold along the
curved edge. The new fold should start at the upper right-hand corner, where your
curved line started, and extend down to the place where the curved line stopped,
approximately 2 inches (5 cm) above the diagonal corner at the lower left.
6. Fold the other half of your brim. Make a symmetrical mirror fold on the opposite
side of your hat so that the brim is even all the way around.
7. Unfold and refold the hat. Turn the hat so that the bottom right corner, which had
no curve connected to it, becomes the top. The fold or crease between this corner
and the corner where your curved edge began form the front crease of the hat.
Unfold the hat enough so that the bottom, where the rim now lies, is slightly opened.
Bring the back together.
8. Staple the hat to fit your head. Adjust the size of the hat by changing how much
paper overlaps in the back. Once you have a size that fits your head or the head of
whoever will be wearing the hat, staple it in place.
You can also add a drop or thin line of glue along the back of the hat for added
support after you staple it in place.
Creating the Feather
1.
Start with a yellow sheet of construction paper. The paper should be about
9 by 12 inches (22.86 by 30.48 cm).
2.
Fold the paper into quarters. First fold it in half, then fold that half in half
again. Do not fold it accordion-style. The new dimensions should be 2.25 inches
by 12 inches (5.7 cm by 30.48 cm).
3.
Cut out a feather shape. Leave a small notch at the bottom, where the fold is,
to act as the stem. From there, cut out a feather shape, which could also be
called a football or half-teardrop shape. Make the feather as long or short as you
please.
4.
Create a fringe along the outside curve. Cut small slits, about 1/4 inch
(0.635 cm) long and 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) apart. Only cut along the open curved
edge. Do not cut into the stem or the folded spine. Cover the entire outside edge
in these slits.
5.
Separate the two feather halves. The paper feather should open up into two
separate, clear feather shapes with fringes on all outer sides.
6.
Place a dot or thin line of glue in the bottom feather piece. Only use a
small amount of glue to prevent the glue from sticking on the feather fringes.
Apply the glue to the interior of the fold.
7.
Replace the interior feather piece. Press the other feather cut-out into the
glue and let dry.
8.
Glue the finished feather onto your hat. The feather should be glued along
one side of the brim, starting somewhere around the middle and extending to the
back of the hat or slightly past the back of the hat.
Pictures of step by step instructions and printable templates available at:
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Paper-Robin-HoodHat#Creating_the_Hat
You Will Need:
Green Construction Paper
Scissors
Yellow Construction Paper
Stapler
Ruler
Glue
About Timber Lake Playhouse
 The actors and actresses you will see in the performance were hired nationally through theatre
conferences or through private auditions in New York or Chicago. Some of the actors and
actresses you see in the performance will be staying at Timber Lake Playhouse ALL SUMMER to
be in many of our shows! They will live in cabins behind the theatre.
 Timber Lake Playhouse was founded in 1961 by Andy Bro and Donald MacKay. TLP is a not-forprofit summer theatre with a Board of Directors of 15 people.
 Timber Lake Playhouse has many alumni that went on to do great things. Famous actress
Jennifer Garner spent a summer at Timber Lake Playhouse as an intern!
Before you go to the play…
A Little Bit About Theater Etiquette…
Whether going to the theater or having theater come to you, there are a few important things to
communicate to your students before seeing a play. Since this may be the first live theater experience
for some of your students, please take a moment to discuss the following pointers prior to seeing the
performance.

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Stay seated during the performance.
Please do not grab an actor’s costume if they come close to you.
Remember that the performers can hear and see the audience just like the audience can hear
and see the performers. Be respectful to the performers and other people in the audience by
not talking during the performance, unless the actors ask you a question…then it’s ok to answer.
Appropriate responses such as clapping or laughter are always welcome!
Please, please, please turn off all cell phones and remember photography of any kind is not
permitted in the theater!
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!
What were your favorite parts?
Who was your favorite character?
Send us your response at
Timber Lake Playhouse
8215 Black Oak Rd
Mount Carroll, IL 61053
OR email [email protected]
Sources:
www.history.com
www.wikia.com
www.imdb.com
www.disney.com
www.puzzlemaker.com
http://www.birthdaypartyideas4kids.com/
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The Real Robin Hood - Timber Lake Playhouse