NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' 2017-18 theater season, "We the People," will culminate with the theater program's adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods," which will open on Friday, April 20.
Performances will take place at 8 p.m. on April 20, 21, 27 and 28, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 29, in Venable Theater on the MCLA campus. A talkback will take place after the 8 p.m. show on Saturday, April 28. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office at 413-662-5123 or go online.
Directed by Jeremy Winchester, assistant professor of theater at MCLA, the show explores what happens after the "happily ever after" in the intertwined stories of several traditional fairy tales.
"How do we square the thing we thought we wanted with the daily reality of it? Princes are rich and handsome, but rich and handsome doesn't guarantee kindness and love," Winchester said.
"Into the Woods" also will look at conflict between generations, and the power of banding together across age groups to strike down adversity. Senior Alex Sasso, the production’s assistant director, said, "It's about things not being clear cut or simple to answer, the greater good versus personal need, and trying to do the right thing anyway."
The show applies the cross-generational theme from the script into the actual production. "Into the Woods" features several student designers who work together with their professors. This theme also extends directly onto the stage with Associate Professor of Theater Laura Standley, who portrays the Witch, and Dance Minor Coordinator Tom Truss III, who portrays the Narrator/Mysterious Man, alongside the student cast.
MCLA Theatre's production of "Into the Woods" also emphasizes togetherness in the face of hardship. Sondheim wrote this piece 30 years ago when the AIDS epidemic was at its peak.
"They didn't know what would happen or which loved one would be taken next. Society had just begun – barely – to accept gay people as deserving members of society," Winchester said. "By banding together, we found ways to navigate those difficult times and challenges. We now face new challenges – emboldened racism, creeping fascism, and rampant greed and corruption."
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