“It seems like a good time for a comedic show—something that brings lightheartedness to the stage while also addressing real issues people face,” said Director of Theatre, Tim Broeker, when asked about Urbana High School’s spring musical, Into The Woods. This well-known production blends several classic fairy tales in a way that allows humor and truth to go hand-in-hand—something that resonates with the students in the show as well as with their director.
“I like Into the Woods because while it’s funny, it also shows you some tough situations and how to learn from them,” said senior Tiana Steele, who is double-cast as Cinderella. “In a lot of the characters’ situations, they have to go through thick and thin to get what they want, and sometimes they have to learn that it’s about the journey more than the destination.” Another poignant theme woven throughout the show, and also the title of one of the musical’s most beloved songs, is “No One Is Alone.”
“All of the characters in the show are in various relationships and are having different encounters along the way, just like we all are in life,” Broeker said. “But then when there’s strife, they have to band together for a common goal and the good of the whole. It’s a theme everyone tends to really connect with.”
Broeker said the impressive pool of musical talent at UHS made it possible for him to choose the challenging, Stephen Sondheim show. Twenty-two students are in the cast, ranging from seven theatre-seasoned seniors, to three newcomers to the program. The cast is supported by a pit orchestra of 15 students and two adults under the direction of Blase Cermak.
The show’s crew of 38 students, led by tech director, Breanna Morton, has been creatively challenged to blend visual references to storybooks and the imagination of childhood with the often-frightening reality of deep, dark woods. “They’ve done a lot of great brainstorming and problem solving around how to achieve this effect,” Broeker said.
Into The Woods will be performed at 7:00 pm April 25-28 and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 29. All performances will be in the Urbana High School Cobb Auditorium, 1002 S. Race Street. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults, and are available at the box office, which opens 30 minutes prior to each performance.
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