The Making of a Fairy Tale: Stage Troupe’s “Into the Woods”

What do you get when you combine wishes, witches, and beans of ambiguous magical quality? Stage Troupe’s production of Sondheim and Lapine’s fantastical Into the Woods.

The musical borrows characters from various Grimm Brothers’ stories and thrusts them all into the same familiar fairy tale landscape: the woods. Among the trees, they learn that getting what you wish for doesn’t necessarily mean happily ever after (and that angry giants mean business!) But more importantly, they learn that they can always depend on each other.

“[Into the Woods] is all about community,” said director Joe McLaughlin (CAS ’16). “Seeing all the characters interact with each other is one of the best parts of the show.”

Witch Abi Oshins (SED '15) gets her mask adjusted | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Witch Abi Oshins (SED ’15) gets her mask adjusted at rehearsal | Photo by Alene Bouranova

What’s unique about Stage Troupe’s production of Into the Woods is its setting. Although the characters exist in the same universe, they each represent different decades.

“It’s a generational thing,” said Baker’s Wife Kelly Duffy (COM ’15). “The youngest characters, Jack and Red, represent the 90s and the older characters represent more traditional time periods, like my nuclear family from the 50s. It’s a completely original concept.”

McLaughlin and co-director Brittany Jenkins (SAR/CFA ’16) came up with the idea after noticing parallels between the characters’ stories and certain periods of history.

“We could see more modern aspects in a lot of the text,” said McLaughlin. “We saw that a lot of the characters’ objectives really reflected certain generations, with the most obvious example being [the Baker and his wife]. But there’s also a lot of World War II; you can see it in the songs ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Maybe They’re Really Magic.'”

Director Brittany Jenkins closely watches the last full run before the start of tech week | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Director Brittany Jenkins (SAR/CFA ’16) watches the cast’s last full run before tech week | Photo by Alene Bouranova

Into the Woods premieres this coming weekend, October 17th-19th.  Until then, Stage Troupe will be busy putting on the finishing touches.

“We’re still making everything come together,” said stage manager Alison Parker (CAS ’16). “[The cast] has each individual scene, but now we need to make it into one cohesive show. So we’re getting there!”

For their part, the cast is ready to debut the show.

“We’re SO ready!” said Red Riding Hood Cameron Barney (CAS ’14). “It’s gonna be great.”

The cast is all smiles for the Act 1 finale | Photo by Alene Bouranova
The cast is all smiles at the finale of Act 1 | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Princes Matt Melleby (ENG '16) and Elliot Hanson (CFA '16) in agony over their respective princesses | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Princes Matt Melleby (ENG ’16) and Elliot Hanson (CFA ’16) in agony over their princesses | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Costume designers Bridget Baker (CFA/CAS '18) and Katina Karvan (CAS '16) pin one of Cinderella's ballgowns | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Costume designers Bridget Baker (CFA/CAS ’18) and Katina Karvan (CAS ’16) pin one of Cinderella’s gowns | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Sequins on Cinderella's gown | Photo by Alene Bouranova
Sequins on Cinderella’s gown | Photo by Alene Bouranova

Want to see Into the Woods? Performances are 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Tsai Performance Center. Tickets can be purchased on eventbrite

Alene Bouranova

Alene Bouranova (COM '16) is a Journalism major from Seattle, WA. She loves exploring Boston and enjoys the simple things in life like Pinterest, Netflix, and bagels.

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