An Actor’s Perspective: Into the Woods

Emma Davis, Senior Editor

What do a baker, his wife, a hungry little girl, an impish boy, and a witch have in common? This isn’t the set up to a joke, it is an opening into our school musical: Into the Woods! Into the Woods is an intriguing story comparing and contrasting four different fairy tale plot lines, involving a childless baker and his wife, a witch and her daughter, Jack and his beanstalk, Cinderella, Little Red, and the big bad Wolf. This show is special because ten years ago our director, Colin McCord, and our musical director, Tom Bonezzi, were a part of the production. The leads of the show included Drew Ferling as the Baker, Natalie Seifert as the Baker’s wife, Payton Nielsen as Cinderella, Emma Ilg as the Witch, Alex Miller as the Narrator/ Mysterious Man, and Lilia Jackson as Little Red. The cast performed five shows in total, including a Thursday night final dress rehearsal and senior citizen show, a Friday night opening show, Saturday matinee, Saturday night, and lastly, a Sunday matinee.

The show is important because its central message can be useful to each and every audience member, as well as to the cast members themselves. No one is alone. Audience member Katie Kissner stated that the most important thing to leave the theater with is “a feeling of wonder and awe at the amazing work the actors, crew, and musicians put into the show.” Admittedly, as an actor it felt nice that our work was recognized by the audience; especially considering that at the Thursday night show the senior citizens emphatically expressed their shock that we had only been working on the show for two months. However, it felt even longer.

Sunday afternoon, emotions ran high among the cast because for many of us it was our last musical ever. Seniors Payton Nielsen, Natalie Seifert, Lexi Acierto and I struggled to keep it together throughout the finale, tears blearing our eyes. Everyone lost it after curtain call. Personally, it will not be my last musical, because my major in college is going to be musical theatre, but as an actress, it still meant something that this was my last high school musical.

It was an honor to be a part of such an amazing production. Every show is something special to me; but there is something magical about a show made out of literal fairy tales. I couldn’t believe it ended so suddenly. With rehearsals Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, it FELT like the show would go on forever. Much too soon, however, the two months of rehearsals ended, and we felt the magic of the woods for the last time sunday night.

The moral of the story rings true; no one is alone, and as our director Colin McCord explained in our programs, we all have our own witches, wolves, beanstalks, and magic beans to deal with. Both good and bad; what’s important, is how we react to them. Our cast chose to react with hope, love, and compassion. I hope you choose the same!