Theatre Department Presents 'Into the Woods'
As the semester draws to a close, Asbury’s Theatre and Cinema Performance Program has prepared a fairy-tale conclusion with Stephen Sondheim’s acclaimed musical, Into the Woods.
The show will be performed April 3-4 and 11-12, from 7:30-9 p.m. in Asbury’s Greathouse Theatre. Because seating will be limited, audience members are encouraged to reserve tickets in advance, beginning March 31, by calling the Theatre box office at (859) 858-3511, ext. 3303, or ordering online at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34260. Tickets cost $10.
The show is directed by Assistant Professor Jeff Day, with student director Jennifer Silver ’14. In addition to showcasing student’s vocal and dramatic talent, Day says Into the Woods offers an insightful exploration of human character.
“This story is a tale about what happens if we become too obsessed with our personal passions,” Day said. “In the end the characters learn that they need community in order to survive.”
Community is more than just a story element, though. It has been a key experience for students in the show, especially graduating seniors.
“It's very emotional to think about this being our last show at Asbury, but I am so thrilled to be going out on this one,” said senior Lucy Allen, who plays the Witch. “Not only are we performing with each other our senior year, we are performing with freshman, sophomores and juniors. That's one of the greatest parts of theatre, getting to be a part of the community. It's something I will always treasure.”
Allen says performing Into the Woods provides students with a challenge and opportunity for growth.
“It is incredibly challenging musically and thematically,” Allen said. “The composer, Stephen Sondheim, is famous for his challenging music and lyrics. It's such a great learning experience for all of us.”
Silver says the show is replete with messages and themes, and encourages audience members to “be open.”
“There's a lot to be learned from this show and each audience member can take away something different,” Silver said. “Every single character has a different journey, and so each person who watches the show has an opportunity to find someone they can truly relate to and learn from.”
Silver says the show’s many themes can’t be boiled down to one statement. The moral universe of Into the Woods is complex, rich and inspiring, and sometimes hard to pin down.
“Some parts of songs are comprised entirely of little moral lessons,” Silver said. “But at the heart of it, Into the Woods is a story about parents and children. There's a hard struggle between knowing what to pursue, what to wish for, what to be content with. Then as you live and learn, there's a difficult task in passing off that knowledge to your children. Into the Woods is a deep exploration of those broken relationships and how they can be healed.”
Like her friend Lucy Allen, Silver says putting on the last show of her senior year has an added poignancy.
“This is one of the hardest things I've had to do,” she said. “Knowing that it's my last show at Asbury and knowing that it may be the last time I work with these talented people makes it such a bittersweet experience. I'm grateful for the time that we've had, and I'm proud of everyone who has cared enough to put their own passion into this story.”
--by Joel Sams '15