Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

Published April 17 2018

BROOKSVILLE — How about a story about two knights who gain their knighthood, lose it, then gain it back, only to lose it again?

That was the concept Kyle Marra pitched nearly three years ago to Randi Olsen, founder and creative director for the Live Oak Theatre Company.

Olsen loved the idea. The two formed a group of writers that included about nine Live Oak veterans (cast members of all ages), who met weekly and came up with a variety of characters and situations.

"We spent a lot of Thursdays laughing and putting it together," Marra said.

"Then at some point, I told Kyle he had to take it and turn it into a story," Olsen said.

The result — ReUnKnighted — an original Live Oak Theatre production that opens this weekend at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

The show is a musical medieval comedy about Sir Gareth and Sir Percival, two knights who lose their knighthood while attempting to rid their Queendoms from the evil Morgana. The show pokes fun at a number of fairy tales and Arthurian legends, with a cast of some familiar and new characters that include queens, knights, seven dwarves, a young Arthur, the magical Merlin, Prince Charming and others.

The show’s music was written by Olsen, with lyrics written by both Olsen and Marra.

"It is about Sir Gareth and his journey," said Marra, the show’s director. "You see him get knighted, only to be unknighted ... It is a little bit of comedy, and a bit of medieval drama."

The show is double-cast and features 63 performers, including children and adults of all ages. As with all Live Oak shows, ReUnKnighted offers an immersive theater experience, with a thrust stage where the audience is immersed into and part of the set.

Sir Gareth is performed by Ben Staley and Noah Barnes, with Sir Percival shared between Marra and Kaiden Rossiter.

ReUnKnighted will be the final show at Faith Presbyterian, where Live Oak has presented its shows for more than five years. The nonprofit company is moving to the Tudor-style building that was once home to Hernando County Utilities, on Truck Bypass 50. Live Oak will reopen at its new location in June with a two-week youth drama camp, and where the 2018-19 season’s lineup of shows will be held.

Olsen said ReUnKnighted promises plenty of laughs. It also includes a touch of historical lore. For instance, Queen Gwendolyn (performed by Olsen and Julie Hofstede) rules over Tintagel and Queen Cordelia (Caitlin Frostman and Aurura Truitt) of Cadbury, two locations where some historians believe Camelot may have existed.

"What makes this show neat is, because there are two casts, each has a unique, awesome and different voice," Marra said. "I look forward to how the audience will react."

"Kyle took leadership of this show, and it’s wonderful," Olsen added. "And if you like Princess Bride, Spamalot and Monte Python, you will like this show."