Northland News

Actors' Theatre of Columbus Annual dinner is troupe's largest single fundraiser

A free performance of 'King Arthur and the Sword of Britain' begins after dinner

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Mark Hale Jr. (left) will play Merlin and Josh Katawick will play Arthur in Actors' Theatre's production of King Arthur and the Sword of Britain.

Members of Actors' Theatre of Columbus will don full regalia at the troupe's annual opening night tent dinner, slated for tonight, Thursday, May 23 in German Village.

An Evening in the Silver Bough starts at 6 p.m. at the Schiller Park amphitheater.

A number of activities will mark the beginning of the evening, including strolling musicians, jugglers and jesters.

The dinner's theme is based on the legend of the fairy queen, who sometimes offered a silver bough or branch to worthy mortals, granting them safe passage during their stay in the otherworld, said Carol Mullinax, vice president of Actors' Theatre.

At 7 p.m., dinner begins with food from the Explorers Club.

Tickets for the event, the largest single fundraiser for the troupe, are $50 each and can be purchased at or by calling 614-444-6888.

"We just trying to make it an evening to remember, something unique," said John S. Kuhn, artistic director of Actors' Theatre.

Starting at 8 p.m., the troupe will perform King Arthur and the Sword of Britain. It is free and open to the public,

The adaptation was written by Philip J. Hickman, who penned Robin Hood last year. King Arthur is the first play of the season in Schiller Park. The play will begin at 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and run five weekends, ending June 23.

Kuhn said Hickman draws on Celtic mythological components of the story, using elves, fairies "and fun beings like that."

"It has the elements that have been very popular for us in our first show -- romance, swashbuckling -- and yet it's got a poetic quality," Kuhn said. "(Hickman) has incorporated some verse and some wonderful language."

Actors' Theatre opened its 32nd season with Comedy of Errors, performed over the past two weekends in Columbus Commons. Starting June 6, the troupe will perform All the Great Books (abridged), covering all of history's celebrated pieces of literature, in 90 minutes, at Easton Town Center. All plays, free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. and held each Thursday through the end of July.

Kuhn said Actors' Theatre welcomes the opportunity to entertain new audiences at new venues.

"The great thing about reaching out to new audiences is that it strengths us as an organization," he said.