Rambunctious Theater Goes Into The Woods
May 21, 2016
Once again the Rambunctious Theatre Company has impressed audiences with its latest production Into the Woods. The last production of the 2015-2016 school year was a success and a challenge for the drama department because the show was a musical. The musical evolved into a great production with help from director Meghan Thrift and stage manager Isabel Min.
Thrift, who has been at Robinson for two years, knew that this show was going to be a difficult task to take on. “Stephen Sondheim [writer of the play] wrote a very difficult and challenging show and it has this feeling of never being finished. There is always more stuff to do and more stuff to mind, but opening night is coming!” said Thrift.
Nonetheless, Thrift and the cast managed to perfect the show and made it absolutely worth seeing. The many songs in the show were very complex, especially the witch’s song towards the beginning of the show where she lists the many plants in her garden. The witch, played by senior Mady Hanton did an incredible job as one of the main characters. Each cast member’s singing abilities were very admirable and they all had sounded like they’d been taking singing lessons for years. The costumes were also very impressive. It did not look like the cast members just wore things out of their own closets, or wore Halloween costumes. They all looked very sophisticated, and their outfits fit the characters well.
Thrift’s decision to perform Into the Woods was largely because of the important message it sent to a high school audience. “I have a hard time choosing musicals because female characters are often written as archetypes. They are often the hooker or the girl that is only validated by finding love at the end of her journey. I like this show because it has strong female protagonists and that is important when you are choosing a show, especially in a school setting. It is important to monitor the message that you’re sending,” said Thrift.
There were a lot more details that needed to be considered in the production of this show since it was a musical. For example, Into the Woods needed an orchestra and the cast needed to focus on their singing and acting skills. The show was very well rehearsed and the orchestra was spot on with their timing, which made the play flow nicely.
Tenth grader Sam Price played the role of Little Red’s grandmother, and describes all the substantial differences between a play and musical. “With Into the Woods we would have frequent musical rehearsals to learn our music then go to blocking rehearsal and learn everything that our character does on stage. Closer to opening we met with orchestra and had to work with them to fit everything together, which was a challenge in the beginning that you do not have to do in a play, but it all turned out fantastic in the end. The process of musicals can sometimes be longer than plays just because you’re adding a whole new layer to the show, the music, but the end result is always great!”