Students to act in “Into the Woods”

Sarah Reiff

“[The musical] is able to tell an abundance of very important life morals in such a short amount of time.” – Alexandra du Manoir ’21

The Performing Arts department plans to stage the musical “Into the Woods” this fall.

“I’m super excited to audition, because it’s my last year at Harvard-Westlake, and this is one of my favorite musicals,” Leila Dall’Olmo ’20 said. “I love ‘Into the Woods,’ because it has so many characters and storylines that are exciting.”

The theater department will hold student auditions for the musical starting Aug. 27. Students will then be cast into roles including Cinderella, the Big Bad Wolf and Rapunzel.

Director Michele Spears said she chose this show because the variety of characters it has makes it easier to cast.

“Since [the show] is about fairytales, anyone of any identity can audition, and we can make that work for their character,” Spears said.

With an overarching theme of being careful of what one wishes for, “Into the Woods” begins with the story of a baker and his wife who are cursed by a witch and rendered childless.

The couple embarks on a musical journey through the woods to find four essential ingredients that could reverse their fate, meeting classic storybook and fairytale characters throughout their quest.

Having various types of storylines and characters all encompassed into one is what allowed Alexandra du Manoir ’21 to love the musical.

“I think it is really interesting that [Into the Woods] encaptures a bunch of different classical fairytale stories,” du Manoir said. “[The musical] is able to tell an abundance of very important life morals in such a short amount of time.”

The original Broadway production of ‘Into the Woods’ won several Tony Awards, and the movie adaptation received three nominations at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.

“It’s very much an ensemble show, meaning that everybody is integral to it,” Spears said. “If that role is in there, it has a very particular and important part to play in the story.”

Du Manoir said that to her, Little Red Riding Hood is the most interesting character.

“Although [Little Red Riding Hood] seems to be an innocent story and is told to children growing up, it actually has very dark undertones and I think it’s interesting to play around with the contrast of the darkness of the story while playing such an innocent character,” du Manoir said.

Spears said that the shows’ many components make rehearsal even more hectic. Regardless of the huge time commitment that goes into producing plays, Spears’ said the end result is always incredibly satisfying, making all the work worth it.

“It is always exciting,” Spears said. “The audition process, rehearsals and exploring the material all make the experience wonderful.”