The Concordia Theater program is putting on “Into the Woods,” Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical. The show is running from November 11-14 and 18-20. It will be directed by guest director Rachel Stevens.
This musical tells the story of a baker and his wife hoping to start a family who have a curse placed on them by a witch. Their journey includes twists and turns with several well-known Grimm fairy tale characters, including Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, making appearances.
“The show has a lot of great lessons that are meant to provide real advice for people facing troubles and adversity,” said Mary Noah, an actress in the production who plays the role of Jack’s mother.
This is not Noah’s first show at Concordia. She is a junior and has participated in many other productions, including “Young Frankenstein” and “Macbeth.”
Noah mentions her excitement for the show as being two-fold. She describes her joy as first “working with individuals who are just as passionate as you,” and secondly as, “seeing the show move, live and grow as it is put together brings a lot of momentum to the process.”
She also outlines the tensions of a production like this, saying that working with guest director Rachel Stevens as being challenging.
“Stevens added a new layer of meaning and sentiment in the work we do on stage,” Noah said.
The director is Concordia’s guest director for the semester. She has her graduate degree from the Actor’s Studio Drama School in New York City and is very excited to be at Concordia.
Stevens described the most exciting aspect of the production as “getting to know the student community and finding out where the text resonated with the students most.”
She wanted the actors and actresses to gain character development through narrative and personal experience. She also outlined “Into the Woods” as being about “getting through the woods as a community.”
Similar to students in production, this production does not go without challenges for the director either. The songs are thematic and must represent a certain mood, making the music pieces more difficult to work with. Additionally, Stevens found it challenging yet rewarding to work with the students on internalizing the language and playing moment to moment.
When asked about what she wanted the audience to feel after leaving, Stevens said she “doesn’t like to dictate what the audience feels,” but hopes that the audience’s experience is individualized.
“If nothing else, whatever they do feel, they take away and talk with someone about how they were impacted as a catalyst for change,” Stevens said.
Kiley Snowbeck, who works at the box office, wants the audience to look at the scale of production and even though capacity is still at 75 percent, said the show will never be lackluster.
“Live theater is back and it is here,” Snowbeck said.
Snowbeck is personally excited about doing hands-on tasks for the show, as she has not been in this role of a production yet. Snowbeck is also excited to be able to finally watch a Concordia show again.