Into The Woods (2015)
PHS presented Into the Woods on March 19-22, 2015.
HERSHEY APOLLO AWARD NOMINATIONS:
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical: Abby Swartz
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical: Matt Gooden
- Outstanding Student Orchestra
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical-Tori Gaffey
On the surface, the musical Into the Woods is the fictional tale of a baker and his wife who want to have a child, but can’t due to an evil spell. In their journey to fulfill their desires, we are reintroduced to many of the familiar Grimm’s fairy tales we’ve known all our lives. Along the way, we witness their determination to fight for what they want—or at least what they think they want. And while this seems simple, we’ve learned through the complexity of Sondheim’s work that nothing is what it first appears.
Each year, the musical company identifies the “beast,” the moment in the show that proves to be the most challenging. From “Rock Island” raps to 15 minute ballets to tap dancing in the dark, we’ve slain each with grace. But what do you do when the whole work is the beast? When the orchestration is rhythmically sophisticated, the themes and dialogue are complex, and the woods have to reach the sky? I’m proud to say that the students have attacked this challenging material, learned from it, and worked to present a wonderfully rich production. In the end, this show isn’t hers or mine or his, but ours. Into the Woods is truly a labor of love for any company who is up to the undertaking. From day one, I proclaimed the same words to the production team and company, “Stay with me, and we’ll make it through the woods.” This show isn’t about making a plan and executing it, but about layering in what we discovered along the way.
As the show says, “Everything you learn there will help when you return there.” Whether that “there” is on this stage, in this school, in this community, or simply in this moment, learning from where you are makes you an active participant—one with opinions and understandings of rights and wrongs and everything in between. It forces you to recognize your place in the world and all that is around you. Perhaps most importantly, it creates an environment where you must LISTEN and stay in the MOMENT because others will listen—children will listen. With so much noise, which voices have the true truths?
Every day and in every story, it is easy to get wrapped up in the truths of the loudest characters, the ones who demand the most attention. But there are other voices and other truths. In our unique Into the Woods, you encounter Hansel and Gretel, the 12 dancing princesses, the dwarves, and the cutest three little pigs. In our woods, there’s room for everyone. And just like in real life, each and every character has a voice and can be heard. Each has their own journey to explore, and to seek, and to find their truth. It’s important to hear each voice.
I’m lucky. I have great voices to hear. Pierce, Kara, Kristin, Mac, Sandi, Janice—there’s no one I would rather be on this creative journey with than you. Your understanding of our educational program and what we strive to offer for the students of our community is inspiring. Mark, Rosemary, and Aaron—thank you for NEVER leaving me in the woods alone. From all the silent producer accomplishments to motorized hens to creative assistance from 382 miles away, I always know you have my back. The goal for this journey is to make you proud…well, and to get home to the #pastrypups.