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“Into the Woods” Wows, As Expected

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When I sat down on Wednesday, April 25 to watch the theater department’s final dress rehearsal of their spring musical, “Into the Woods,” I was incredibly excited, even though, in a way, I already knew what to expect. I’m pretty sure I’ve been to every show put on since the seventh grade, and I’ve watched my classmates perform with the direction of Theater Director Emily Ditkovski in awe.

As always, Ditkovski and her actors did not disappoint. The musical, which features an array of popular fairytales with music and lyrics originally written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, is a complicated story with lots of moving parts, but the actors managed to transition through the plot lines seamlessly and beautifully.

The Assistant Director of this show, Maddie Elsea ’19, was clearly dedicated to her role; as many of the scenes that she blocked and directed stood out as showstoppers in my book.

Many performances stood out. Triniti Slaughter ’18 played the Witch and not only showed her acting range, but also her musical chops. She was able to quickly transition from rapping about vegetables to singing ballads about family without missing a beat.

Senior Haley Beecher, who played the Baker’s Wife, also had an impressive performance. She had a remarkable stage presence and was able to wonderfully articulate her character’s innermost thoughts through a simple one line. Similarly, senior Tori Zingarelli put on a perfect performance of Cinderella, with powerfully beautiful and nuanced vocals .

Josh Holmberg ’18, who played Haley’s husband, was equally as talented. His role, one of the largest in the musical, was perfectly suited to him, and he performed with confidence and charisma.

Robby Hill ’19 played the narrator as well as the Mysterious Man. His smaller role of the Mysterious Man was a real scene stealer in the show, as he added comic relief during even the most stressful times. Robby’s dedication to his character really showed, and as he danced on stage and poked fun at different characters, I found myself laughing and smiling, even in the sadder scenes.

The costumes, made by Ashley Tyler and the eight members of the costume shop, were clearly well thought out and constructed. Anabelle Farnham ’18 played Cinderella’s stepmother, and sophomores Louisa Weed and Jaime O’Malley played her daughters, and the simple beauty of their costumes belied the months of work that went into them.

The most striking costume was the Witch’s. Her costume change halfway through the show, from dirty rags to a dress with a long train, showed the complicated creations that the costume shop worked on, as well as their dedication to providing a range of outfits for the actors.

There was live music during the show, as well. Directed by the Head of Choirs, Steven Berlanga, the orchestra included Williston students, faculty, and hired musicians, and was an excellent touch to help set each scene. The music not only beautifully accompanied the singers, but also helped to create interesting sound effects and highlight dramatic moments.

Charles Raffetto, the Head of Theatre Production and the Facilities Manager, and the members of the technical theater afternoon program, simply outdid themselves for this show. The lights were spectacular yet always matched the characters and the various moods of each scene.

This musical was an incredibly ambitious one to pull off. In a short time frame, actors had to memorize lines, students had to create costumes, and tech members had to make sets and adjust lighting, but as always, the entire theater department pulled it off in a spectacular way. And, as always, I’m excited to see the shows they present next year.

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Ellie Wolfe '19, Editor-In-Chief

Ellie Wolfe is a junior from Northampton Massachusetts. In her free time, she enjoys going for runs and hanging out with her friends, and runs The Willistonian...

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“Into the Woods” Wows, As Expected