A collision of fairy tales
Published 9:53 am Tuesday, October 6, 2015
To Theater Director Lindsey Duoos Williams, Riverland Community College’s theater department is kicking its 2015-16 season off on the right note.
Riverland will open “Into the Woods” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Frank W. Bridge’s Theatre on Riverland’s east Austin Campus. The show will continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. show on Sunday.
“I love this show,” theater director Lindsey Duoos Williams said. “This is a musical that I’ve loved for a really long time.”
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“Into the Woods,” with a book written by James Lapine and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, has been around for several years, but it’s gained an increased attention in recent years thanks to a movie adaptation starring Meryl Streep.
Fairy tales collide when Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, a childless baker and his wife all head into the woods to pursue their wishes. Along the way, the characters discover that wishes are rarely as simple as they seem and the consequences of their actions return to haunt them.
Despite the popular Disney adaptation, Williams said Riverland’s version will stick closer to the play.
“I think they’ll really love seeing the original stage version, because it was written to be performed on stage,” said Williams, who is directing this play.
Williams has wanted to stage a production of “Into the Woods” for several years, but it features challenging music. However, she said she can see the cast’s hard work paying off.
“It’s such a satisfying, rewarding experience,” she said.
Williams said there was a great deal of interest from potential actors in the play, as more than 50 auditioned for the 19 roles — the largest group to audition in many years, according to Williams.
“We ended up with just an incredible cast, really all-stars,” she said.
However, she said there were many deserving people who didn’t make the cut because of the limited cast size, and she hoped they’d apply for upcoming shows, especially the musical “Young Frankenstein,” which will close Riverland’s season next April with a large musical cast.
Individual tickets for “Into the Woods” are $16 and are on sale at www.riverland.edu/tickets. The online ticketing system allows customers to choose their seats and pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets may also be purchased at the Riverland Box Office, located in room E107 in the East Building of the Austin campus. Box office hours are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performances.
Riverland students receive two free tickets to each performance with a valid student ID. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Into the Woods” is suggested for ages 10 and up. Riverland Theatre strives to provide quality productions that are entertaining and challenging to both the audience and the artists. Because the college has such a diverse audience, some audience members may find some subject matter, language or situations objectionable. The theater asks those who have concerns about a specific production to become familiar with the material before attending the performance.
Cast and Crew
Riverland Theatre Director Lindsey Duoos Williams directs “Into the Woods.” Laurie Helmers is the vocal director. The conductor is Brian Koser. The set and lighting designer is Mark Spitzer. The costumes are by Carley Carranza and Jennifer Wiebrand. Props are by Alexa Ferguson. The production is stage managed by Karina Hernandez.
The cast of “Into the Woods” includes Carrie Braaten (Austin) as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Jodie Bratager (Rochester) as Lucinda, Jen Bute (Alden) as Cinderella’s Mother/Granny/Giant, Morgan Dickman (Austin) as the Witch, Tess Douty (Adams) as Snow White, Alexa Ferguson (Lyle) as Rapunzel, Joseph Gerber (Austin) as Cinderella’s Prince, Robert Johnson (Blooming Prairie) as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Father, Garrin Loveland (Austin) as Jack, Emily McAlister (Austin) as Little Red Ridinghood, Lindsey McAlister (Austin) as Florinda, Claire Olson (Austin) as Cinderella, Kristy Possin (New Richland) as Sleeping Beauty, Raymond Riepe (Austin) as the Baker, Bryana Thorson (Luverne) as the Baker’s Wife, Vic Wylde (Austin) as Rapunzel’s Prince, SarahLynn Zavoral (Austin) as Jack’s Mother, Danny Ziebell (Kasson) as the Steward, and James Zschunke (Austin) as the Narrator/Mysterious Man.