DOWNERS GROVE – Lombard-based AlphaBet Soup Productions, a professional theater for young audiences, wants to inspire kids to get involved in the arts.
The theater company will present a modern version of "Robin Hood" at 10 a.m. May 5 and 6 at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove.
General admission tickets are $8.50 each, available by calling 630-932-1555 or visiting AlphaBet Soup's website at absproductions.com. The May 6 performance also will feature a special pre-show appearance by Belle from "Beauty and the Beast."
The show will run about 65 minutes. Formed in 1987, AlphaBet Soup Productions' mission is to provide Chicago-area youth, families and teachers with a theatrical experience that will not only entertain, but also educate and inspire.
"As they are watching the actors on stage, we want to get the kids inspired to go into the arts, whether it's live theater or playing a instrument," said Andrew Swanson, production manager for AlphaBet Soup Productions. "Getting them exposed to theater at a young age is kind of our overarching mission. It is really important to us to give them that first experience so they understand what it is and hopefully get them excited about all things fine arts."
Swanson, who started out as an actor at AlphaBet Soup Productions, has been directing "Robin Hood." The show opened in the middle of February and will run until the end of May.
"Robin Hood" will feature eight cast members who will play close to 14 different roles. The fact that they are playing more than one role presents an additional challenge for the actors, Swanson said.
"Not only do they have to change their voice and their physicality between characters, it also creates a busy backstage," Swanson said. "It's a very busy show for a lot of them."
Those who attend "Robin Hood" will see a different version of the show than they are used to seeing. One of AlphaBet Soup Productions' former actors, Sarah Jean Tilford, wrote the script for the show, as well as the show's music and lyrics.
"It was taking the classic story but putting kind of a modern twist on it," Swanson said. "There is cool stuff too for the boys that come and see the show. This one has a lot of sword fighting and lots of action. It is something different than 'Cinderella' or some of the other princess shows we've done."
The show is designed for both kids and adults to enjoy.
"There are a lot of fun things for the younger kids to laugh at," he said. "But also, there are things that adults will laugh at that the kids won't understand. We've got a lot of humor for all ages and lots of action along with great songs. And also, we have a cool message that we sort of intertwined in there to make it a little more relevant and modern. Maid Marian, instead of being the typical damsel in distress, in our version is tired of being the princess, and she wants just to be like everybody else."
If you go
What: "Robin Hood"
When: 10 a.m. May 5 and 6
Where: Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove
Info: 630-932-1555; absproductions.com