"Into The Woods" has had multiple renditions from the original Broadway play to the live-action film. Many people know the story, now it's time for a fresh take on the classic.
The Texas State Department of Theatre and Dance will bring its audience into the world of "Into the Woods" from Nov. 15-20.
The Broadway production told by James Lapine is being brought to Texas State by the creative minds of Director Stacy Hawking along with the cast and crew. "Into The Woods" is the third production Hawking directs at Texas State.
Hawking is currently studying at Texas State as a second-year MFA directing candidate and "Into The Woods" his is her third time directing a production at the university.
Hawking said that throughout preparation for this production, everyone is learning, even herself.
“I think there is a strong focus on the community at Texas State and a lot of care for the students that are in the program," Hawking said.
The story of the musical is a combination of several popular Brothers Grimm fairy tales connected by the story of a baker and his wife. Stories featured will be "The Little Red Riding Hood", "Jack and The Beanstalk", "Cinderella" and more.
"Into The Woods" brings together all of the beloved storybook characters. When the storybook opens, the characters on the page come alive.
"'Into The Woods' is a story about all your favorite fairy tale characters going to find something that they want and coming out of it with a new perspective on life,” said Mia Kaplan, a musical theater sophomore who is playing Little Red Riding Hood.
The cast and crew are focused on bringing the storybook world to life in every way possible. That includes creating the set and costumes to resemble the pages of a storybook. This process has been challenging but worth it according to Angelica Hadiwibowo, the production's costume designer. The set will look as if it was ripped out of a book.
“It's like making origami clothes basically,” Hadiwibowo said.
Every costume is built by attaching paper onto the fabric, which has designers working up until the deadline. The production is the first step at Texas State to have costumes made entirely from scratch. Each costume was made to fit the actor or actress.
Since every costume was made from scratch, the designers had an opportunity to tell a story with their designs.
"'Into The Woods' is really interesting. [The costumes] are very character-driven. I played a lot with shape language,” Hadiwibowo said.
Shape language is a way for costume designers to continue telling the story through their clothing. For a story like "Into The Woods," shape language was especially helpful to convey the message. In a classic storybook retelling like 'Into the Woods' the audience will find themselves watching a good versus evil narrative. Triangles are used for evil or unfriendly characters like the witch, and circles are used in designs for friendly characters.
The storybook play revolves heavily around the influence of paper. The sets and costumes may appear to be paper but the actors are also required to move like paper. Paper shapes the entire production, especially the choreography.
“We used paper as our influence, so we created something really sharp or specific or something that's a little bit flowy for other moments,” Hawking said.
The cast and crew continue to have a safe space to learn and grow. Supporting this production is directly supporting the young cast and crew who work hard to bring this world to life.
“We are still in an educational experience, I am getting to grow as I am playing this role and getting to learn and figure out new parts of my voice that I can express,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan never believed she would get a lead in this production let alone a starring role. She said that musical theater has always been her calling, and this production will help further her career.
Designers, Tech crew, actors, and even directors are learning during this process. The benefit of a student-run production is that everyone is learning from each other. Kaplan expresses that although she has been in previous theater productions she continues to acquire new skills. Actors and actresses are able to find new parts of their voice and sing on an entirely different level than they did before rehearsing for the production.
“I would say the cast and team have shown each other a lot of grace because we are all still learning,” Hawking said.
Tickets can be purchased at https://txstatepresents.universitytickets.com/w/event.aspx?id=3380&r=e58d8853a75e43c0a08cdeb69982ddbc