Arts News

SJA Theatre Presents Into the Woods

Award-winning St. Johnsbury Academy Theatre will perform the magical Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods on November 10, 11, at 7:00 p.m. and November 12 at 2:00 p.m. in Fuller Hall. Tickets are available through the Catamount Arts Box Office on Eastern Avenue, by phone at 802-748-2600, or on-line at Tickets will also be on sale at the door.

Filled with comedy, mystery, beautiful music, and magic, Into the Woods will entrance theatre-goers with its vivid story-telling. The story begins with the Narrators (Mim Wonsala and Natalie Jones) saying "Once upon a time..." which leads us into a tapestry of several well-known fairy tales woven together into a single story. In one strand we encounter Cinderella (Elizabeth Gilmartin), the Stepmother and Stepsisters (Reagan Ford, Jordan Barbour, Manika Druke), Cinderella's Father and real Mother (Carter Brochu, Meghan Cook), and Cinderella's Prince (Michael Lamontagne). Nearby we encounter Jack, of beanstalk fame (Eli Moore), and Jack's mother (Fiona Sweeney). In the woods, a tower contains the beautiful Rapunzel (Jordan Adams), courted by another Prince (Mark Lamontagne) and guarded by the Witch (Lily Sullivan). Little Red Riding Hood (Molly Moore) skips through the woods on the way to grandmother's house (Jaime DeKett), only to encounter the Wolf (Lucas Masure).

Tying all of these well-known stories together is the quest of the Baker (Logan Jefferson) and his Wife (Lillie Brodie), who attempt to break the curse of childlessness laid on the Baker's family by the Witch, and a Mysterious Man (Sam Bulpin) who seems to hold the key to everyone's happiness. At the end of Act I, all problems are resolved and the stories resolve "happily ever after!" Act II, however, explores what happens after "happy ever after". In a word, the Giant's wife comes down to earth after Jack dispatches the Giant, and she is really angry!

Other members of the cast include Trey Armbrister, Shaelyn Craft, Sage D'Muhala, Sierra Norko, Emma Robertson, Olivia Robinson, Piper Rolfe, James Rust, Emma Sestito, Hannah Silver, Nyah Straight, and Joseph Vineyard,

Alan Rowe directs the orchestra, featuring accompanist Emily Wigget, and players Kristen Seadale, Abby McNally, and Kaci Cochran. Set Design and Technical Direction are by Gerard Prevost, aided by his technical crew, featuring stage manager, Amy Plambeck and lighting design and control by Jocelyn McConnon. Sound effects are coordinated by Ainsley Larson and sound reinforcement is managed by Robert Warden and Matthew Bader. Hannah Pearsons has created the special makeup design for the characters. Grips and set construction personnel include Katherine Blassingame, Alexandra Corrow, Taylor Domingues, Haley Elliott, Jade Grime, Sophie Guss, and Logan Samuels.

Costumier Jane Vinton has coordinated the extensive and varied costumes for this show. The director and producer of this production is William Vinton.

This Tony award-winning musical, with book by James Lapine, and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, opened on Broadway in 1987 and has been a mainstay of musical theatre ever since. The film adaptation, released in 2014, received three Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, grossing over $213 million world-wide.

As a note to parents, the first act is a rather light-hearted and comedic look at the featured fairy tales; the second act has a darker feel that some younger children may find disturbing, though it ultimately ends on an inspiring and uplifting note.

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