Next weekend, the greatest fairy tales of all time will collide on stage in UNCG’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Into the Woods.”

The special staged-concert event produced by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD) will take place Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m. in UNCG Auditorium.

“Into the Woods” tells the story of a childless baker and his wife and their quest to reverse a witch’s curse. Their journey includes iconic storybook characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella, among others.

Directed by Triad Stage Artistic Associate Bryan Conger ’11 MFA  and conducted by Music Supervisor of Broadway’s “Wicked” Dominick Amendum ’01, UNCG’s production is a unique twist on Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical.

Instead of performing in an orchestra pit, the 22-piece orchestra – made up of UNCG students and alumni – will be on stage with the actors.

“The music is out of this world,” said senior Barbara Mootoo, who plays the witch. “Everything you need to know about this show is in the lyrics and the orchestra’s dynamic.”

In place of a fully realized set, a projection screen in the background will display storybook-like visuals that indicate time and place. In the same way, cast members will wear costumes that merely suggest their characters.

Photo of UNCG senior Barbara Mootoo, Dominick Amendum '01 and UNCG graduate student Taylor Hale.

From left to right: UNCG senior Barbara Mootoo, Dominick Amendum ’01 and UNCG graduate student Taylor Hale.

“It’s been fun and challenging to imagine the show in a new way,” said Justin Cowan ’14, a graduate student and the show’s musical director. “A lot will be left to the audience’s imagination.”

For graduate student Taylor Hale, who plays the baker, the opportunity to work with Amendum is what makes this experience so valuable. Amendum has visited campus numerous times over the course of the semester to meet with students individually and in groups.

“He’s really invested in our futures,” Hale said. “He’s so knowledgeable. It’s wonderful to work with him.”

Amendum has been instrumental in building strong musical theater offerings at UNCG. Starting in the fall, SMTD will offer a new minor in musical theater, with Amendum and Cowan continuing to cultivate the program.

“Into the Woods” serves as the cast members’ final exam for their Workshop in Musical Theatre course.

“It’s not just a performance – it’s also the culmination of a course,” Cowan said. “It’s been a big undertaking for our students, so I’m excited to see it come together. It will be a really fun adventure for the audience.”

Ticket prices range from $10 to $20. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit performingarts.uncg.edu/into-the-woods.

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Relations