Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Into the Woods marks end of original theater


Jafit Orellana

Cinderella, played by senior Abigail Reed, yanks the hair of her step-sister’s, played by senior Lily Tungol.

“Be careful what you wish for” is a repetitive theme in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales: Into the Woods. Consisting of a mixture of classical fairy-tales including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk, Into the Woods is the last musical played at Oaks original auditorium built in 1982.

Originally created as a musical by James Lapine, it was later produced into a movie directed by Rob Marshall. The movie cast included award winning actors Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp.

Many felt the movie was confusing with the mixture of so many stories but felt that the play preview showed a better understanding of the background and plot.

“I was very confused when I first watched the movie but I did like the blend of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales,” senior Maddie Phelan said. “I loved that Oak’s theatre students really capture each and every character and presents a clearer plot.”

Each fairy tale’s characters must go into the woods to accomplish something they wish for. Cinderella wishes to go to the King’s Ball, but first she must venture into the woods. Jack must go sell his cow in the market, but first he must venture into the woods. Little Red Riding Hood has to visit her sick grandmother, but first she must venture into the woods. Rapunzel must try to find her prince, but first she must venture into the woods.

“I felt an emotional connection to this musical because I was connecting to each character since I feel they put in an extra effort,” junior Nadia Alamo said.

Each actor had a long journey into perfecting their characters emotions, actions and feelings. The character development was complex and meticulous. 

“I related to my role and was so comfortable since I was in the show with all my friends,” senior Abigail Reed, who played Cinderella said. “I’ve enjoyed being part of nine musicals at Oak, making friends and just a really fun environment.”

To connect the various fairy tales, Lapine had to create a unique plot. He created a baker and his wife who have a spell placed on them which makes them barren. In order to reverse this spell, they must get a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair that is yellow as corn, and a slipper pure as gold. The baker had the main role of stealing or slyly taking items from each of the other four characters.

“I felt like (stealing) it was something I needed to do, even though it was wrong, it was something I had to do,” junior Blaine Weigand said. “I learned how to steal things and have nervous and scared emotions.”

With over 40 plays and musicals  played at the original auditorium, the final curtain of Into the Woods brings the end of an era. Now currently being renovated, the theater will reopen and host its first play in Spring 2021.