Actors' Theatre of Columbus is seeking thespians - and a horse-drawn carriage - for its summer season at Schiller Park.

Actors' Theatre of Columbus is seeking thespians - and a horse-drawn carriage - for its summer season at Schiller Park.

John S. Kuhn, artistic director of the German Village-based troupe, said the group will audition more than 60 actors for roles in "Robin Hood," "The Merchant of Venice" and "The Servant of Two Masters."

"One of the things we really strive to do is color-blind casting, which means engaging and utilizing people from all ethnic backgrounds," he said.

The auditions will be held March 3 and 4 at the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St. Those interested can register online at www.theactorstheatre.org. Kuhn said actors without a lot of experience are encouraged to sign up, as minor roles will be available.

Also, the theater company needs a horse-drawn carriage for a scene in "Robin Hood," in which a carriage transporting taxes to the prince gets waylaid by the avenging bandit.

Actors' Theatre was unsuccessful in securing the horse and carriage during last year's production of the "Scarlet Pimpernel." The troupe improvised but would prefer a more authentic adaptation, Kuhn said.

"Robin Hood" will kick off the troupe's 31st season, to begin on Memorial Day weekend. The original version was written by local actor and writer Philip Hickman.

"He has crafted a very exciting piece that works very well down at the park," Kuhn said. "The tricky part is you are dealing with this iconic myth, and there are many variations. There's a lot of flexibility on how the story gets told."

"Robin Hood" will be followed by Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and the season will conclude with the "The Servant of Two Masters" by Carlo Goldoni.

Financial issues caused Actors' Theatre to cancel its winter season and fire its long-time executive director Frank Barnhart. Kuhn said that a madrigal dinner held in December was a success, so the troupe has plans to do it annually.

The belt-tightening will not mean a sacrifice in quality, Kuhn said.

"We didn't want to jeopardize what we do at Schiller Park," he said.