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Students go “Into the Woods”

Stretching helped students prepare their minds and bodies for one of thier best practices ahead of tonight's performance. (Photo Credit: Olivia Studdard/THE SPECTATOR)

Written by Olivia Studdard, Staff Writer

After weeks of rehearsals, the grand drapes will finally part tonight at 7:30 pm to reveal students’ work on “Into the Woods,” a musical hosted by Valdosta State University’s Theatre and Dance departments.

The haunting melodies of the second act of the musical fill the halls of VSU’s Fine Arts Building in the week leading up to opening night. Cast and crew gather together to go over trouble spots and finally a run through of the entire production.

“This show is going to change rapidly over the next four to five days,” the director of the musical, Duke Guthrie said.

“Into the Woods” is comprised of two acts. The show features characters from the Grimm brother’s fairy tales, characters people are familiar with. The first act will conclude with a happy ending, after the intermission, a second act will open and turn all the stories upside down.

Stephen Sondheim’s songs for “Into the Woods” became so popular that a movie musical was made and released in 2014.

“It’s a very dark and dreary take on all the fairy tales,” junior Hannah Findlay said, who will play a stepsister in the production. “The movie version was really good, but it’s so different than this. This play is so much longer, and you really get to know the characters.”

For some students, this production means the end of a lifetime of waiting. Senior Ethan Glass, who will play the part of the narrator in the play, has been dreaming of playing a part in Sondheim’s production for years, and this performance gives him that chance.

“This is my favorite musical of all time,” Glass said. “I’ve been watching this show since high school, at least every two or three months I’m watching it again. I can die happy knowing I’ve finally made it.”

Students have been preparing for this production since open auditions were held during the first week of the semester.

“Finding out I was narrator was an incredible feeling,” Glass said. “We’ve become a true family over the past few weeks.”

Cast members aren’t the only ones excited for the upcoming show. The musical’s stage manager, sophomore, Kelsi Holland has also put in countless hours of preparation.

“The first act is a fairy tale, but the second act is what really happens,” said Holland. “It’s what real life is like: Reality, truth and fact. The idea of a fairy tale is fun, and the sequence between from The Last Midnight to No One is Alone is so powerful and exciting. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

Show times this week are tonight through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. The show will run next week, Monday through Wednesday at 7:30.

Please note that this show is not recommended for children as it contains mature themes.

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