Department of Theatre & Dance ventures 'Into the Woods'
The award-winning Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into the Woods is brought to magical life on the stage of Rowan University’s Pfleeger Concert Hall in a brand new production presented by the Department of Theatre & Dance. Performances are one weekend only, March 30 – April 1, 2012 (Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 3 pm) on the Glassboro campus.
Directed by Rebecca Rich, this Tony Award-winning musical – with a score by Sondheim and a book by Lapine - weaves together the lives and adventures of several well-known fairy tale characters as they pursue their various wishes and quests. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of beanstalk fame), a childless baker and his wife, among others, cross paths in the woods and deal with witches, giants, wolves and more. They come to understand themselves, family relationships and discover is that the 'Happily Ever After' they were seeking is not always so happy after all.
“We are creating a whole other life on stage. We’ve gone pretty dark with it,” Rich notes. “The students are giving me great ideas; it’s been a very collaborative process and I’ve been encouraging them to really enjoy these relationships.”
The characters are portrayed by a cast of student performers from across the region, including Lauren Berman of Cherry Hill and Kaitlin Kemp of Fredericksburg VA as Narrators, Brittany Cinaglia of Mullica Hill as Lucinda, Anthony Crosby of Cherry Hill as the Wolf, Danielle Delbuono of Haddon Heights as Jack’s Mother, Sam Dewitt of Woodbury as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Dane Eissler of Franklinville as The Baker, Jessica Lynn Evans of West Creek as Cinderella, Tyler Garamella of Lindenwold as the Steward, Jenna Garrison of Middletown as the Giant, Krysta Grande of Pennsauken as Granny, Joe Grasso of Swedesboro as the Mysterious Man, Christina Higgins of Mount Laurel as Rapunzel, Jaried Kimberley of Westville as Cinderella's Father, Katie Knoblock of West Deptford as Florinda, Jenna Kuerzi of Mullica Hill as the Witch, Joe Napolitano of Dover DE as Cinderella's Prince, Dona Pizzo of Philadelphia as Little Red Riding Hood, Ben Shutman of Ocean Township as Jack, Katie Verde of Toms River as The Baker's Wife, Vincent Yearly of Mount Laurel as Rapunzel's Prince and a movement ensemble with Brittany Griffiths of Magnolia, Andrea Krapevka of Edison and Andy Spinosi & Julie Wagner of Haddonfield.
The creative team features musical director Jack Hill, assistant director Matt Ploch, set designer Bart Healy and lighting designer Robert Thorpe, as well as Paule Turner, who is assisting Rich with movement and choreography. Recently retired Rowan faculty member Philip A. Graneto returns to campus as the costume designer for this production, assisted by Stephanie Nichols.
A guest artist at Rowan this year, Rich recently earned her MFA in Acting from Temple where she was an adjunct professor and company member of TRT (Temple Repertory Theatre). Before moving to the area, Rich spent 17 years based in New York City as a professional actor; she originated roles in the off-Broadway musical productions of the cult hit Zombie Prom (original cast recording), Yiddle with a Fiddle and A Naughty Knight; guest starred on the Comedy Central TV show “Strangers with Candy”; toured in Guys & Dolls; and worked at a number of the biggest regional theatres in the country, including Sacramento Music Circus, Kansas City Starlight and Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Pfleeger Concert Hall is located in Wilson Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ. Tickets are $15, general admission; and $10 for seniors, non-Rowan students and Rowan alumni. Tickets for Rowan students and staff are free with valid ID. For reservations and information, visit rowan.tix.com or call the box office at (856) 256-4545.