Into The Woods Musical

A Mysterious Journey with Classic Fairy Tales

The GACS junior high drama members performed in the musical, Into the Woods. The musical mixes the stories of multiple classic fairy tales.

The GACS junior high drama members performed in the musical, Into the Woods. The musical mixes the stories of multiple classic fairy tales.

Eunice Park, Web Editor

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Norcross — The GACS junior high will perform a musical called Into the Woods on Friday at the Clifton Jones Theater.

Based on the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault classic fairy tales, Into The Woods remarkably combines stories such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The musical reaches deeper into each story and mixes the tales together so that characters from completely different stories are able to meet one another and help each other.

Movies based on fairy tales had always shown princesses who experienced conflict due to jealousy, but Into the Woods demonstrates unexpected conflicts due to the wide range of characters that the baker and his wife meet in the forest.

A childless baker and his wife set out on a perilous adventure to start a lovely family and revolt against the witch’s curse, which inhibits them from having baby.

The couple bounds around through the forest and the village in order to find the four objects that the witch must use for her secret potion. They must find a cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold.

Each student performing in the musical has an unforgettable role that will have a powerful impact to the audience. A medium-sized ensemble of young actors and singers perform together to sing melodic pieces while acting out each detail for the different scenes.

Unlike many typical musicals, Into The Woods does not have a chorus and many dancing scenes. The original score and script was used for advanced versions such as in Broadway, the Old Globe Theater, and San Diego. For that reason, the GACS drama director altered the intricate score to the perfect level so that the students felt challenged but not too bewildered.

Mr. Steven Allen, the junior high theater director, led Into The Woods in 2010 as well, so he chose the production for this year because he did not have any worries about the level or plot of the musical. “The music and storytelling of Stephen Sondheim are complex and challenging even for professionals in the industry, so this show makes young performers ‘up their game’ in order to succeed,” Mr. Steven Allen said.

The majority of the parts in the play included three students in order to maximize the number of students who could enjoy playing a role in the musical. 46 cast members participated even though the play only had 18 roles.

Every student who received a role practiced two or three times a week since the beginning of the second semester. All junior high students were permitted to audition for the play during the fall semester. Several cast members are in the junior high theater class, but at least 1/3 of the students are not in the GACS drama class.

Dr. Miller, the music director, and Mr. Allen gave each auditioning student two song excerpts, and he or she was required to perform the song in front of the two teachers.

Garner Harsh, an eighth grader who was casted as the baker, has also acted in previous plays because he developed a passion for acting since he was in elementary school. “I was overjoyed when I found out I was cast as the baker, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to be in such a great musical with such a great cast in my eighth grade year,” Harsh said.

Many of the students in the play enjoy performing the songs for the play because Stephen Sondheim, a famous composer for musical theater, wrote the songs.

“I love performing the Curtain Call because it is part of the finale, and all of the cast members perform together,” said McKenzie Williams, a sixth grader.

Harsh was delighted to be a part of the Into the Woods cast, but he feels bittersweet that the final performance is coming up. “It was incredible to see how well we could work together as a cast, and my favorite times were when we could rehearse the entire musical without stopping,” Harsh said.

As the musical is ending, Mr. Steven Allen is proud of the results. “I was very pleased when I watched students learn how to work as a team to create something that could not be done without each other,” Mr. Allen said.








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