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Asolo Rep Announces Casting for the New Musical HOOD

Posted: May 2 / 2022

Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Music & Lyrics by Lewis Flinn

Directed by Mark Brokaw
Choreographed by Ellenore Scott

Presented by arrangement with Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy

June 3-26, 2022

(SARASOTA, FLA) — Asolo Repertory Theatre proudly announces full casting for the new musical HOOD. Five-time Tony®-nominated playwright Douglas Carter Beane – who re-invented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella so deliciously – reunites with composer and lyricist Lewis Flinn, his Give it Up/Lysistrata Jones collaborator, to bring to life this hilarious and stirring new theatrical adventure. Directed by Mark BrokawHOOD begins previews on June 3, opens on June 11, and runs through June 26, in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. 

“I feel very lucky at this point in time to have the opportunity to work on this piece of material with this gifted group of people,” Brokaw said. “The piece touches on so many of the issues we’re all currently struggling with and that threaten to consume us, but it does it through laughter, generosity and kindness – all things the world desperately needs right now. This musical offers a road map to joy.”

The world’s sexiest thief. A pair of history’s greatest lovers. The Merry Band that made redistributing wealth cool. Here, finally, is the real story of the nobleman forced out of his home and into the wilderness, who seeks revenge not only for himself but against an unjust system. And as he sets out on a mission to rescue the damsel he left behind, he discovers that this particular damsel doesn’t need any rescuing. 

“The legend of Robin Hood has been passed down for more than 800 years, revisited and adapted by hundreds of troubadours, storytellers, writers in theatre, and recently in TV and film,” said Flinn. “Not only is it a David versus Goliath tale, but it is about individuals – everyday people – making choices to stand up rather than be complacent, to not accept the status quo, and to fight for what they believe in. But also, and perhaps more importantly, it’s larger than life and fun, with adventure and love and a big heart.  

“Musically, I wanted the score to have strong melodies and songs that could be sung by anyone, while also being catchy, uplifting and inspiring,” Flinn added. “HOOD has a contemporary folk/pop score with some Celtic twang and Kurt Weill spices thrown in the mix.”

HOOD offers audiences an opportunity to see a new musical from a talented and well-established creative team. Dallas Theater Center staged the show’s world premiere in 2017, and workshops in Sarasota (2019) and New York (2020) furthered the development of the piece. A new production was set to premiere at Asolo Rep in May of 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic.

“I’m so excited to at last have this show come to life!” Beane said, noting the delay from the pandemic. “Its message that everyone has a hero deep within seems particularly meaningful today. And it’s great to be working again with old collaborators, including Mark Brokaw (As Bees in Honey DrownCinderellaMusic From a Sparkling Planet) and cast members Billie, Luke, and Jamen (Fairycakes) and Imani (To Wong Foo…). Oh, and my husband, Lewis (eight shows, two kids).” 

A prolific playwright, Douglas Carter Beane’s Broadway writing credits include the musicals CinderellaLysistrata JonesSister Act and Xanadu, along with several plays, including The Little Dog LaughedThe NanceAs Bees in Honey DrownMusic From a Sparkling PlanetFairycakesShows for Days and The Closet, among others. His film and television credits include To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie NewmarAdvice from a Caterpillar and Tracey Ullman’s Show.

In addition to writing the music and lyrics for HOODLewis Flinn serves as arranger and composer. He has written musicals for Broadway and off-Broadway and scored over 50 plays on Broadway, off-Broadway and at regional theatres across the country. He’s also scored films and national commercials and written songs for many recording artists. His favorite and frequent collaborator is his husband, Beane.  

A busy and in-demand director, Brokaw’s revival of How I Learned to Drive just opened on Broadway. His other New York credits include the premieres of HeisenbergThe Long Christmas Ride HomeAs Bees in Honey DrownLobby HeroThis Is Our Youth and the Signature Theatre revival of Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. He has directed for regional theatres around the country, including the Guthrie Theater, Center Theatre Group, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Sundance Theatre Lab and the O’Neill Theatre Conference. Internationally, his work has been seen at London’s Donmar Warehouse and Menier Chocolate Factory, Dublin’s Gate Theatre and the Sydney Opera House. 

The team is joined by choreographer Ellenore Scott, whose work can currently be seen on Broadway in Funny Girl and Mr. Saturday Night and off-Broadway in Little Shop of Horrors. She also served as associate choreographer for Head Over Heels and King Kong on Broadway and assistant choreographer for Cats and Falsettos

Leading the cast of HOOD are Anthony Chatmon II and Savy Jackson as Robin and Marian, respectively. 

Anthony Chatmon II previously appeared on Broadway in Hadestown and Be More Chill and in the national tours of Fiasco’s Into the Woods and The Book of Mormon. His television and film credits include Kenny in A Jenkins Family ChristmasReasonable DoubtInvasionLaw & OrderBlue BloodsThe Other Two and BullSavy Jackson recently earned her BFA in musical theatre at Pace University after being on the road with the first national tour of Once on This Island as a Storyteller and the understudy for Ti Moune.

The cast also includes Billie Aken-Tyers (Much), Caitlin Humphreys (Lady Ann), Erin Kei (Lady Jane), Aury Krebs (Meg), Daniel Lopez (Troubadour), Jamen Nanthakumar (Friar Tuck), Luke Antony Neville (Will Scarlet), Nick Rehberger (Sheriff of Nottingham), Zachary Francis Stewart (Little John) and Imani Youngblood (Gamble Gold). The understudies are Jordan Sam RichMikhail RobertsDarius VinesDanielle Vivcharenko and Taylor Erin Wade.

“We have a powerhouse creative team and cast working on HOOD, and it’s such a pleasure and honor to be working with Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy as enhancing producers,” said Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “It’s exciting for our audience to have the opportunity to see a show of this caliber before it potentially goes on to be staged elsewhere. The uplifting message and dynamic adventure of HOOD are going to appeal to families in our community in a big way.” 

HOOD contains some mature language, light sexual innuendo and brief moments of stage fighting.

HOOD runs June 3-26, 2022. Previews are June 3-10. Visit asolorep.org for a full performance schedule. Orchestra and Mezzanine seats start at $57 and Balcony seats start at $33. Tickets are available now in person at Asolo Rep's Box Office at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, by phone at 941.351.8000 or 800.361.8388, or online at asolorep.org

Learn about Asolo Rep’s Health and Safety Protocols.

CAST

(in alphabetical order)

Billie Aken-Tyers*……………………………………Much

Anthony Chatmon II*………………………………..Robin

Caitlin Humphreys*……………………………..Lady Ann

Savy Jackson *……………………………………..Marian

Erin Kei*…………………………………………Lady Jane

Aury Krebs*…………………………………………….Meg

Daniel Lopez*………………………………….Troubadour

Jamen Nanthakumar *………………………….Friar Tuck

Luke Antony Neville*…………………………..Will Scarlet

Nick Rehberger*……………………Sheriff of Nottingham

Zachary Francis Stewart*…………...………….Little John

Imani Youngblood*………………………......Gamble Gold

*****

Jordan Sam Rich, Mikhail Roberts, Darius Vines, 

Danielle Vivcharenko, Taylor Erin Wade……...Understudies

*Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

 

SELECT CREATIVE TEAM

Director………..…..………………………..………Mark Brokaw

Choreographer…………………………………... Ellenore Scott

Scenic And Costume Designer……………...…….. Adam Rigg

Lighting Designer……...…………………….. Japhy Weideman

Sound Designer……………………….……. Elisabeth Weidner

Puppet Designer……………………………….….. Nick Lehane

Hair/Wig & Make-Up Designer……………………Michelle Hart

Orchestrator…………………………………..……....Lewis Flinn

Orchestrator……………………………….……....Justin Goldner

Music Director……………………………………..Brad Simmons

Fight Director……………………….Jacob Grigolia-Rosenbaum

 

ENHANCED EXPERIENCES

The Scoop (FREE)

  • This popular program that explores the ideas and inspiration behind the making of the show will now be available digitally. Ticket holders will receive a video link via email.

Inside Asolo Rep: HOOD

  • Thursday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m.
  • Cook Theatre
  • $5; free for donors and Asolo Rep Guild members
  • Attendees get a glimpse of what goes on behind the curtain in this special series featuring the artists from the production, as well as special guest experts from the community. 
  • Inside Asolo Rep is sponsored by Observer Media Group.

Tuesday Talkbacks (FREE) June 14 and 21 

  • Attendees can enhance their experience with this post-show discussion.

OUT@AsoloRep: HOOD

  • Wednesday, June 15
  • Pre-show reception
  • For subscription and ticket information, contact the box office.
  • OUT@AsoloRep is Sarasota’s premier cultural event connecting local LGBTQIA+ communities with fantastic theatre. 
  • OUT@AsoloRep is sponsored by Sabal Palm Bank, CAN Community Health, Morton’s Gourmet Market & Catering and Project Pride. 

*All activities are subject to change or modification based on CDC recommendations.

 

SPONSORS

Asolo Rep is able to present HOOD because of the generosity of its sponsors. The corporate sponsors for HOOD are ABC 7, Residence Inn, Michael’s on East, and Asolo Rep’s Artistic Excellence Society. 

Asolo Rep 2021-2022 Major Season Sponsors are Florida State University, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Huisking Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Designing Women Boutique, The Exchange and Sunset Cadillac of Bradenton, with additional support from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Asolo Rep’s artistic programs are paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.

 

ABOUT ASOLO REP

Now in its 63rd season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 10 productions each season including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.

June 326 / 2022
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