'Into the Woods' creates fairytale fantasy

If you enjoy the Grimms’ fairy tales, then you will love the theatre department’s adaptation of the broadway play and movie of Into The Woods, a production that intertwines some of the most famous fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, in a mysterious woodland setting. However, theatre teacher Emmett Bales takes the play in new directions.
“If you’re expecting the movie, you’re not going to see the movie; if you’re expecting the broadway play, you’re not going to see the broadway play,” Bales said. “The new theater technology class, is allowing us to go more in depth into the characters and nuances and inner parts of each character. We’re trying to bring out the beauty in everything.”
The complicated stage sets require 72 stage cues alone, along with music cues, such as crickets and birds and other animals, to enhance the woodland atmosphere. The tech crew will also stage flying objects for the first time in this play.
“I think there’s going to be a lot more depth to it than what people are expecting. Almost every other sentence is something you can write an essay about,” Bales said. “[I expect] each of us, including myself, to work to their full potential, which really concerns me because we are very multi-tasked now. We can only handle so much, and in my world, this is worthy of my attention.”
The play will feature 19 cast members, each of whom was required to complete an advanced character analysis of their part in order to better understand the character’s motivations and bring depth to the production.
“There’s not one player that isn’t important. You could take any character, even one who you might consider a minor character, out of the play, and it would not be the same play,” Bales said. “They’re all really interrelated and very important.”
Sophomore Johanna Huber will play Little Red Riding Hood, and her biggest concerns are learning the mannerisms and vocal qualities of a small child.
“It’s definitely a more well-known play than what we’ve done in the past, so I think it’ll get more of a positive response from the students,” Huber said. “It’s kind of like a fairy tale, and everyone loves a good fairy tale.”
Junior Tatijana Shields is one of two student directors, and she assists with rehearsals, blocking, directing, and stage work. Shields could see the beauty of the play and the dedication of the cast after only a few rehearsals.
“Our cast, crew, and the wonderful addition of our orchestra members will elevate the ‘wow’ effect our show will have in people,” Shields said. “I’m not going to settle for less than our best. Even if hiccups happen, it’ll be okay if they give us their all.”
Into the Woods will feature the pit orchestra, which will be playing the entire score of the musical from the broadway play. Music department head Andrew Paul hopes this collaboration will continue.
“[I expect] to have a great pit orchestra and to support the guys on stage so they can do what they need to do without having to worry about music,” Paul said. “I’ve been in pit orchestras before where it’s been a wonderful and positive experience for the audience and the cast members, and I’ve also seen pit orchestras that were really causing performance issues. It can make or break the production, like cast members or anything else. It’s just one component that’s got to be right.”
Altogether, this musical is a creative adventure for Bales and his students as they collectively design a cohesive fairy tale, drawing from their personal interpretations to create a work of art.
“[I love] to see the growth and development of the students that are involved. They realize, actualize, and engage themselves, and they are not the same people when it’s done,” Bales said. “Not just professionally and skill-wise theatrically, but on a personal, everyday level, they’re not the same people. That’s why I love to do this. They’re just so amazing; they’re just beautiful souls.”
~nina quiles, managing editor