With a new interpretation of a classic tale, the Westerville-area-based Curtain Players are hoping to begin a transition from 'a lovely secret' to popular entertainment option.

With a new interpretation of a classic tale, the Westerville-area-based Curtain Players are hoping to begin a transition from 'a lovely secret' to popular entertainment option.

Beginning today, June 16, Curtain Players will stage Robin Hood and the Secret of Sherwood, adapted by writer and former Curtain Players president Jeremy Sony.

What makes the free performance special is that it will use the city's Alum Creek Park Amphitheater.

Given the popularity of events such as Actor's Theater Columbus' summer performances in Schiller Park, Curtain Players president Jill Taylor said the move to the outdoor stage made perfect sense.

"The amphitheater has been just sitting there, staring at me for years, and I couldn't believe no one performed live theater there," she said.

Curtain Players' leaders hope that with the new space comes a new audience, which director Keely Kurtas-Chapman said is both thrilling and daunting.

"It has been very exciting; it's also a little terrifying -- a lot of pressure," she said with a laugh.

"But we have a great cast and our team of designers has been fantastic at making sure that everything fits together and we make it work for this very portable type of environment."

The group can't take all of its inspiration from plays in Schiller Park, however.

Kurtas-Chapman made it clear that the troupe wants to create its own outdoor theater tradition, and while it hopes to appeal to a similar crowd, the group has a much different setup.

"This is a little bit different than that, as Westerville doesn't have a dedicated space to itself like Schiller does," she said.

"But it's important that Westerville parks and recreation has been very helpful and has worked ... to make sure we had everything we needed from a parks perspective."

But what makes shows in Schiller popular could have the same success in Westerville.

"You can walk up with a picnic lunch, sit down with your kids, have a dinner you prepared from home with a picnic under the stars, and listen to and watch a story in your own town," Taylor said.

The troupe hopes to build some momentum for its next season of plays at its permanent location, 5691 Harlem Road in Galena.

Perhaps after a successful season, Curtain Players won't be a hidden treasure for much longer.

"We feel like this lovely little secret, and we're trying to make ourselves less of a secret," Taylor said.

The free shows at the Alum Creek Park Amphitheater, 221 W. Main St., will run at 7:30 p.m. June 16-18 and 23-25.

For more information, visit curtainplayers.org.