Written by JR Gerber and Kaley Garrett
“Into the Woods” is a musical about a baker and his wife who are eager to be parents that are visited by their next door neighbor, a witch, who promises to give them a child in return for four objects in the woods: a white cow, a red cape, yellow hair and a golden slipper. In the search for the objects, they run into various fairy tale characters in the woods while fulfilling the witch’s wish. Storylines intertwine and their wishes change as each character goes deeper into the woods.
The rehearsals and preparations for the musical began in December. The actors in the play have been working constantly, nearly everyday, to perfect their performance of “Into the Woods.” We were lucky enough to preview some of the scenes performed by the cast before opening night. With many twists and turns, from red riding hood being eaten by the big bad wolf, Jack trading his cow for some beans, to Cinderella being chased by the prince, the cast performed flawlessly.
Sophomore Michael Pagee, who plays the Royal Steward, gave us a hint at what it is like to go on stage for the real show. Much like most of the actors, he is most looking forward to the actual performance. He described the feeling before going on stage as “exciting and chaotic.”
Along with a lot of the other cast members, Pagee “love[s] the rush.” Other actors feel the same way about the musical. Another actor, sophomore Jackson Raff, said that he is simply “looking forward to having a fun experience.” Junior Diana Gruber, who plays Jack’s mother, claimed that her “favorite part of it all is the physical connection.” She continued to talk to us about how the entire cast bonds throughout the rehearsals and performance. One of the step sisters, sophomore Lena Reibstein, shared that her favorite part “is definitely the costumes.”
Each actor has their own outfit to match their role. It’s clear that there has been much thought and effort into deciding who wears what. Junior Olivia Tai plays an ensemble member in the musical. This is her first musical and so far, her favorite part is “the energy of the cast.” Tai continued to describe the experience as “filled with music, art, and acting.” However, the best parts must be matched with the hard ones. For Tai, “the most difficult part about being in the musical is the time commitment.”
The actors have practiced day and night, especially during the week before the actual performance, when they will rehearse and practice from right after school until as late at ten. This type of time commitment is obviously difficult to maintain, as the actors are all students and have homework and tests to study for.
It doesn’t just take them hours to rehearse and practice, each actor must be in full costume, even for the rehearsals. Reibstein told us that it takes her about 20 minutes to get her costume on, and about 30 minutes to finish her makeup.
Gruber explained to us that another difficult factor of being in the musical is that you can’t eat while in costume. For some that may seem a simple challenge to overcome, but the reality is that some days some of the cast won’t eat for eight hours! They eat their lunch at school and then are unable to eat anytime after school until late at night.
Through all of the challenges and hardships that the cast had to overcome, they have created a truly magnificent musical production. The show opens at the end of the month with performances on February 26, 27 and March 4 , 5, and 6. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Everyone should go see this spectacular show that so many M-A Bears have been working on!