Production of Into the Woods offers unique twists
After three and a half weeks of intense preparation, Calvin’s production of Into the Woods opened this weekend with a unique twist on familiar fairy tales that drew the audience to a standing ovation Saturday night.
The three hour play is a mash-up of fairy tales, linking the story of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel to the story of a baker and his family.
“I loved how there were twists on the individual stories themselves so you didn’t know where the story was going,” said senior Kaitlyn Kloosterman. “It keeps you on your toes.”
The play opens with a storybook set with book ends and two-dimensional trees.
“The set was designed with a pop-up book-esque to make the audience feel like their bedtime story is coming alive,” said senior, Lisa Koller of the set paint crew.
Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine, the play is given a unique flare with costumes far from the traditional hoopskirt dresses.
“Each production of this show is different, but I think Calvin did a wonderful job in their adaption,” said freshman Katherine Ryan of the publicity and dramaturgy crew. “The set and costumes are unique and creative.”
“Calvin gave the show a modern flare with vegan hipster and punk rock costumes,” said sophomore RaeAnna Hudnell of the costume construction crew. “It’s not your traditional show.”
“I liked how they modernized the characters,” said senior, Allie Vroegop. “The hipster culture is something Calvin students can relate to.”
People find themselves in stories, laughing with the characters and crying in their sorrow, but more than anything “you can relate with the modernity of the characters,” said Ryan.
The show was put on by two interim classes including a freshman Developing a Christian Mind (DCM) class, giving the students college credit for their work.
Many students came into the class without any or much prior experience with theater and because it is an open audition class, anyone could join.
“I walked in without that much lighting experience, at least not to this magnitude, but it didn’t matter,” said freshman Adam Fischer of the soundboard and electrics crew. “The crew was patient and relaxed, and they taught me so much.”
Most days, the students spent close to eight hours working on the production, challenging their stamina and determination to accomplish their goal in less than a month.
“It’s among the most musically difficult scores we’ve ever encountered,” wrote Director Debra Freeberg in the director’s note.
Though a challenging and time consuming course full of chaotic nights and busy weekends, the crew highlighted the satisfaction and value of the class.
“The class is a nice opportunity for people who normally aren’t part of the Calvin Theatre Company (CTC) to get credit and have fun doing it,” said Ryan.
“At the end of the night it may not have gone perfectly, but there’s always something that entertains, makes us laugh and cry, something that stimulates ideas and something to look forward to.”