Into the Woods
McPherson Theatre to Present Mainstage Musical Into the Woods

October 4, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan University's School of Theatre Arts will present Into the Woods, a fairytale musical based on the novel by James Lapine, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  The production will run from Tuesday, Oct. 10, to Sunday, Oct. 15, in McPherson Theatre, 2 Ames Plaza East, in Bloomington.  Performance times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Drawing on the traditional narratives of the Brothers Grimm, the Tony award-winning musical is said to appeal to the young and old alike.  Into the Woods takes an original story of a baker and his wife on a quest to break a witch's curse so that they can have a child, and infuses it with familiar elements from such stories as "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Cinderella," and "Rapunzel."

The lighthearted charm of the first act is followed by what critics have called "a deadly, though enlightened, second act."  Here, the consequences of the characters' actions are in full display, leading them to question the notion of "happily ever after" and ultimately to value the strength in community.

Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Tom Quinn will direct a cast and crew of approximately 50 IWU students.  Essential to this particular production are the props, most of which have to be modified or made from scratch. Major props for this production include a pyrotechnic witch's staff, a chicken that lays golden eggs, and a Giant's arm with rope-mechanized fingers.  Much of the prop work is done by a group of 10 IWU students for their "Properties for Theatre" class, taught by Professor of Theatre Arts and Scene Design Curtis Trout.

According to junior theatre arts and English literature double major Sylvi Re, who is the property master for Into the Woods, "The great thing about fairytales is that they aren't set in any specific time period, so we're able to play with the props to make them fit the setting in a way that, hopefully, the audience will identify with and enjoy."

Other shows scheduled for the 2006-07 McPherson Theatre season include Blood Wedding, a Federico Garcia Lorca play translated by Langston Hughes (Nov. 14-19), Susan Glaspell's Pulitzer Prize-winning Alison's House (Jan. 30-31, Feb. 1-4), and IWU's 2007 dance concert (April 10-15).

Tickets for Into the Woods are currently on sale.  Prices are $8 for the performances on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and the Sunday matinee.  The Friday and Saturday performances are $10.  All shows are $1 for students with valid ID.

For additional information or to reserve tickets in advance, call the McPherson Theatre box office at (309) 556-3232.

Cast Members: Tony Lopez (Narrator), Clara Hirsh (Cinderella), Ryan Naimy (Jack), Julia VanderVeen (Jack's Mother), Peter Durkin (Baker), Carol Rose (Baker's Wife), Angela Latkowski (Cinderella's Stepmother), Amanda Hentsch (Florinda), Morgan DeTogne (Lucinda), Nick Simon (Cinderella's Father), Katie Whalley (Little Red Riding Hood), Nicky Schuenke (Witch), Natalie Boccumini (Cinderella's Mother), Bradley Smoak (Mysterious Man), Justin Banta (Wolf and Cinderella's Prince), Becca Segal (Granny and Giant), Amanda Compton (Rapunzel), Jon Cable (Rapunzel's Prince), JP Latchaw (Steward), Leslie Brockley (Snow White and Woodland Ensemble), Lauren Romano (Sleeping Beauty and Woodland Ensemble), Seth Reid (Milky White), Melanie Waltman (Milky White #2 and Woodland Ensemble), Allegra Gallian (Woodland Ensemble), Chris Olmstead (Woodland Ensemble), Kevin Schuering (Woodland Ensemble), Regan Ward (Woodland Ensemble).

Production Team: Tom Quinn (Director), Michael Wallace (Music Director), Bernadette

Brennan (Scenic Designer), Marcia McDonald (Costume Designer), Sara Gorsky (Lighting Designer), Steve Gonabe (Sound Designer), Jean MacFarland Kerr (Choreographer), Lindsay Vrab (Stage Manager), Catherine Smith (Assistant Stage Manager), Kyle Urquhart (Assistant Stage Manager), Eric Barnes (Assistant Director), Kelly Rice (Asst. Scene Designer), KB Shaw (Associate Costume Designer), Pam Wilcox (Hair and Makeup Designer), Armie Thompson (Technical Director), Julie Allen (Asst. Technical Director), Sylvi Re (Property Master), Megan Henderson (Assistant Property Master), Warwick Johnson (Master Carpenter), Mickey Morgret (Master Electrician), Mollie Slattery (Scenic Artist), Sarah Bordson (Publicity Coordinator).

Contact: Teresa Sherman, (309) 556-3181