Stephen Sondheim Musical “Into the Woods” Comes to Lawrence University’s Stansbury Theatre

Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical of what happens after “happily ever after” is explored in four performances of the Lawrence University production of “Into the Woods.”

The musical will be performed Oct. 28-30 at 8 p.m. with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 30 in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave., Appleton. Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.

“Into the Woods” blends popular fairy tales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel with an original story of a baker and his wife, who attempt to reverse a curse that has been placed on them in order to have a child. The musical continues past the typical fairy tale ending to explore ideas of community responsibility and the consequences of one’s actions.

“Sondheim seamlessly weaves spoken words and song in such a way that the audience is carried from one storyline to the next with ease,” said Timothy X. Troy, professor of theatre arts and J. Thomas and Julie Esch Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama, who is directing the production. “The final effect is that we witness a large ensemble cast grow from simple storybook characters to people like us, full of contradictions and unable to know what the future holds.”

Troy previously directed a production of “Into the Woods” for Attic Theatre in 1992.

“This has been a wonderful process of rediscovery for me,” said Troy. “I’ve matured and gathered both joyous and challenging experiences like the characters do in the course of the play. My responses to the material have deepened, and my appreciation for Sondheim’s extraordinary skills has equally appreciated since my first encounter with his work.”

Phillip Swan, assistant professor of music, serves as music director for the production, which features a double cast.  Junior Alex Wilson and senior Evan Bravos share the lead role of the baker, while seniors Amanda Ketchpaw and Chelsea Melamed sing the role of the baker’s wife.

The production features guest lighting by Jason Fassl, artistic associate for First Stage Milwaukee and the resident lighting designer for Renaissance Theaterworks, and guest costume design by 2001 Lawrence graduate Emily Rohm-Gilmore.

First performed on Broadway in 1987, “Into the Woods” was nominated for nine Tony Awards and earned Sondheim a Tony for best score. It also earned the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award for best musical.