LEHMAN TWP. — Rapunzel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Bean Stock come to life in Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School theater presentation of “Into the Woods.”
“Into the Woods,” a musical written by James Lapine, music and lyrics composed by Stephen Sondheim, follows two characters, the Baker and his Wife, on their journey into the forest to find the ingredients for a spell to lift a curse that prevents them from having children.
The Baker and his Wife, played by senior Zack Field and junior Marissa Moku, sing the spell’s ingredients “the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, the slipper as pure as gold,” as they prepare to enter the woods.
Other characters head into the forest on their own missions: Cinderella ventures to her mother’s grave, Little Red Riding Hood to check on her sick grandmother, and Jack takes his cow to market.
One by one, the Baker and his Wife encounter each of the fairy tale characters in woods, and their lives become intertwined.
“The play makes you rethink the fairy tales that you grew up with,” said sophomore student Courtney Richards, who plays the mother of Jack from Jack and the Bean Stock.
“Each character has something (a personality trait) the audience can relate to,” said Aleah Ashton, a sophomore student who plays the Witch. “There is betrayal, heartbreak and death. But we also learn how to deal with it all.”
Under the guidance of Gina Major, theater director, and Bill Mentz, music director at Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School, the students rehearse their song-heavy performances in preparation for their debut at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16 and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17 in the Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School Nicholas Auditorium.
When searching for a script for the theater club’s spring performance, Major tried to “pick something based on the available talent pool.”
“We have some great talent at Lehman,” she said. “They (the student actors) are great with quirky characters.”
In December, the troupe performed “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that required a combination of music, lines and an abundance of unique roles.
But “Into the Woods,” presented its own set of challenges for the actors.
“We have performed musicals in the past,” Richards said. “But the style of music (of “Into the Woods”) is difficult.”
Ashton is faced with three costume changes as her character, the Witch, transforms from an ugly hag to a beautiful young witch, Major said.
Wesley Price, a senior, learned two different roles, the Big Bad Wolf and Prince Charming.
“It is not too hard to learn two parts,” he said. “The wolf dies off before Prince Charming makes an appearance.”
Sophomore Jason Marcin narrates the fast-moving play and also plays the role of a “mysterious man” who helps guide the characters through some of the ordeals they face.
Freshman Hannah Kasko, who plays the ghost of Cinderella’s mother, is also a choreographer and watches each step and on-stage movement of her colleagues.
“I try to make sure each move and step are crisp and precise,” Kasko said.
Tickets for “Into the Woods” are $10 for seats in the front of the theater, $8 for seating in the middle to back of the theater and $6 for tickets for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available in advance by calling 570-855-5874 or through a theater club member.