VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre continues its 2018-2019 season with the classic musical comedy ‘Into the Woods,’ written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Take a trip to Once Upon a Time—when Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack and the beanstalk all lived in the same village. Inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales, this musical mashup takes audience members on the hilarious, heartfelt and occasionally gruesome journeys these folk characters make, then explores what happens when they get what they think they wanted.
Assistant Professor Joe Stollenwerk directs this iconic musical. “This has been a bucket-list show for me since I saw the original production on PBS nearly 30 years ago. I love how funny the stage version of this musical is; the characters are witty and there are so many delightful jokes. Even the moments of violence are rendered with great humor.” Although the show is 30 years old, Stollenwerk believes it speaks directly to today’s audiences: “The play even more relevant: the characters must learn how to work together as a community in order to avoid disaster.”
Assistant Director Oliver Mayes is a first-year M.F.A. directing student who has thoroughly enjoyed working on ‘Into the Woods.’ “I came to USD to focus on directing musicals and it’s been an amazing opportunity to dive in right away. Our cast is a fantastic group of hard-working actors and working under Joe has been wonderful because he really allows it to be a collaborative process. I feel my voice is heard and we are all working as a team. Plus, the entanglement of all of these fairytales is one of the most entertaining experiences an audience can witness.”
Gloria Kelly, a senior B.F.A. musical theatre major plays the Witch: “I love so many things about the Witch! I love how powerful she is but I also have enjoyed finding her humanity and vulnerable moments.”
Check out USD Theatre on Facebook (Theatre at University of South Dakota), Instagram (@usd_theatre) and Twitter (@usdtheatre) for information about special discounts during the run of ‘Into the Woods.’
‘Into the Woods’ performs Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 28-Dec. 2 in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 adults, $12 senior citizen [62+], $10 K-12 and non-USD students with ID, and $5 USD students with ID) can be purchased in the afternoons (12-5 p.m.) starting Nov. 9 at the USD Theatre Box Office or by calling (605)658-3484; tickets can also be purchased online at www.usd.edu/theatre.