By: Susan Erler | Category: Other | Issue: February 2010
Dress rehearsal is underway for “Into the Woods,” presented by the Owasso High School drama department. (L to R): Seniors Katelyn Davis, Bill Sheets and Raeven Aguilar.
A young maiden called Cinderella, a conflicted boy named Jack, Jack’s mother, the giant Jack upsets, a childless baker and his wife, Rapunzel, a couple of princes, a witch, Little Red Riding Hood, and the wolf find themselves in the woods and are forced to face their fears while they all learn a few life lessons. This is “Into the Woods: The Musical,” as described in the original 1987 playbill. This fantastic journey takes us into a world filled with fairy tales and fantasy as each character finds out what happens to them after “happily ever after.”
The Owasso High School drama department, under the direction of Topher Payne, is excited to be presenting this Steven Sondheim musical to the Owasso community. “The underlying theme of the play is mainly about how children relate to their parents and how parents relate to their children,” explains Topher. “It explores the idea that parenting is not an easy task. Sometimes you just keep doing the best that you can.”
The musical premiered on Broadway November 5, 1987 and ran for 764 performances. A revived version began April 30, 2002, with Vanessa Williams starring. It ran for 279 performances, but the story, according to Topher, is timeless. “This is a show that is for all ages,” he says. Young children will enjoy the characters they know and love, and the underlying message will appeal to adults in the audience.
The cast of 22 is small compared to most presentations, but that also means audiences will be seeing the best OHS has to offer. Auditions were extremely competitive, and those cast in the lead roles are varied in their skill and talents, but are indeed the best of the best.
Seniors Bill Sheets, who portrays the baker; Katelyn Davis, who is Cinderella; and Raeven Aguilar, who plays the witch, all have spent exhaustive hours honing their characters and delving into what makes them interesting and exciting to the audience. Bill, alias the baker, has been in drama since the 2nd grade and will be attending Oklahoma State University in the fall, majoring in opera vocal performance. “The baker is a very calm, neutral personality. His life is surrounded by the desire he and his wife have for a child,” says Bill. “He attempts on several occasions to become a leader in the group, but you will have to see for yourself what happens.”
Katelyn Davis, aka Cinderella, would also like to have a singing career, but wants to focus on the area of Christian music. Her character is probably the most well-known, which will certainly make her performance one of the most challenging. “As everyone knows, Cinderella spends her time searching for her prince,” says Katelyn. “In the musical, we look at what happens to her after she finds and marries her prince, only to find out that true happiness still eludes her.”
Raeven Aguilar, the witch, is also an OHS senior. Her part indeed will be challenging and yet wickedly fun, with the musical revealing that the witch’s daughter is actually Rapunzel. Trying desperately to keep Rapunzel away from harm's way, the witch resorts to locking her in a castle tower. She soon learns, however, that no matter how hard you try to protect your children, you have to learn to let them go! Raeven plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall, and although she would love to continue theatre, she may not have the time. Her major will be law, specializing in the advocacy field.
Tickets for the musical are an entertainment steal at just $8 and $6 per person. Even at double these prices, audiences are sure to feel as though they are getting their money’s worth. Advance tickets can be purchased through the Owasso Performing Arts Center box office by calling (918) 274-3420.
The show will run for three nights only, February 25, 26, and 27, so make plans now. You won’t want to miss this enchanting performance as Owasso welcomes one of Broadway’s most prestigious musicals, “Into the Woods.”