Into the Woods
By Stefanie Hamlyn, Director
“That show is a beast,” was the response that I usually got when I told people that we would be doing Into the Woods this year. Musically, it is piece full of tricky rhythms and intricate harmonies. Production-wise, there are a myriad of special effects, sound effects, unusual props and hundreds of lighting cues. And the costumes! Ball gowns, cloaks, golden slippers and so many hats! Nevertheless, I was determined to go into the woods, beast or not, as this show teaches us sometimes you have to make a fraught and difficult journey through a forest of obstacles in order to get something really extraordinary.
Into the Woods introduces us to some familiar storybook characters: Cinderella, the Baker and his Wife, Jack and his mother and Little Red Riding Hood, among others. In the first act we learn of their hopes and wishes, and follow them into the woods as they go off to pursue their dreams. While their stories do have the happy endings we have come to expect, the second act of Into the Woods asks: “What happens when you get your wish – and can that happiness be sustained?” Our cast of princes, paupers, wolves and witches grapple with this question with catchy tunes, haunting melodies, and those tricky rhythms – while learning a little something about life along the way.
This year, we sadly say goodbye to an exceptionally talented group of musicians and actors, many of whom have been with the Theater program for their entire Webb career. It is astonishing to think that just a few short years ago, several of the leads in this show - Charlotte Harris (The Witch), Jordan Burns (Cinderella’s Prince), Seraphina Oney (Cinderella), Jack Childress (Mysterious Man), Diana Escalante (The Narrator), and Angel Jehng (Little Red) were doing chorus work and playing supporting roles. Andrew Mayger (Jack) showed up to play a small part in The Importance of Being Earnest in his junior year and has been here ever since. Jessica Romero (Rapunzel) graced The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with her beautiful voice last year, and newcomer Shiraz Belblidia (Cinderella’s Step-mother) brought her considerable musicianship to us just in time for this show. Light board operator, Daniel Quevedo, has been a devoted and valuable member of the tech crew since his sophomore year.
We also have a bevy of brilliant, accomplished instrumentalists in the Class of 2012 who were up for the challenge. Brandon Baptista (bassoon), Momoha Takahashi (flute), and Mark Sowers have been honing their skills in the Orchestra for many years and generously devoted their afternoons to rehearsing the score.
Sad as it is to say goodbye, it is heartening to see them working side-by-side with our new and burgeoning talent. The cast is rounded out by Jack Gilliat ‘13 (Baker), Vicky Alejandro ‘14 (Baker’s Wife), Michelle Huber ‘13 (Jack’s Mother), Landen Taflinger ‘13 (Rapunzel’s Prince), Lauren Herndon ‘13 (Granny), Kaitlyn Eyvazzadeh ‘14 (Lucinda), Tarren Hassman ’14 (Steward), Clarie Stockdale ‘14 (Giant), Rena Patel ‘15 (Florinda), and Missy Spangler ‘15 on synthesizer.
There is plenty of action behind the scene as well, and the “beast” certainly could not be tamed without the help and guidance of our talented production team.
Alex Valdez, our new technical tirector, assembled and trained a gung-ho group of stage hands who boldly took on all the tricky bits: Storm Sprague ‘14, Brooklynn Flynn ‘15, Skyler Marquez ‘14, and Alessandra Rigo de Righi ‘15.
Choreographer Kerri Fenton, with the assistance of seniors Amanda Fraley and Angie Harold, had the cast up and dancing in no time; Linda Silva worked with the Orchestra after school and plays the clarinet in our merry band, and music director Nina Gilbert coached our ensemble to sing like stars.
Join us on this magical and musical journey, May 4-6, at 7:30 p.m. in Mudd Auditorium. No seating reservations are necessary, but do arrive in plenty of time to get a good seat!