Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk), and many other favorites will come to life this weekend in Stephen Sonheim’s and James Lapine’s “Into the Woods Jr.”
Performances of the play will take place at the Andy Griffith Playhouse on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 pm.
Weaving together many beloved folk and fairy tales, “Into the Woods Jr.” centers on a baker (Robert Parks) and his wife (Daphne Dotson) who wish to have a child; Cinderella (Annabelle Baker), who wishes to attend the King’s festival; and Jack (Will Wharton), who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because a witch (Lydia Atkins) has cursed them, the two set off on a journey to break the curse and wind up changed forever.
Stage manager Betsy Manieri said the one-hour production is a shortened version of the original.
“It’s a reduced version for a younger audience,” explained Manieri. “It’s not as violent.”
Manieri went on to say the script and music are appropriate for children at least 6 years old. There are a “few little, scary parts,” however.
A cast of 45 children ages 8 through 18 years old have been hard at work since early May, said Manieri. They are an impressive group of youngsters.
“The talent is unbelievable in this area — truly incredible,” said Manieri. “The kids are happy to be there. They really have the acting bug, and they’re always eager to learn more.”
Manieri said the talent of the cast is supplemented by the abilities of adults aiding in the performance.
“The talent of the adults working on the set is also incredible. It really looks like you’re in the woods.”
She added the “amazing” show will make a fun evening out for the family.
The show is directed by Andy Atkins, with Betsy Manieri stage managing. Joey Marion choreographed the show. Costumes were done by Marie Poole. Bruce Burgess, Sonia Crouse and Susan Michaels have overseen the set creation with Ken White serving as lead on sound and lights. Tech crew includes Edgar Aguirre, Abby Brady and other volunteers.
Tickets for “Into the Woods Jr.” are $11 for adults, $7 for ages 12 and under and can be purchased online at www.surryarts.org or at the Surry Arts Council, located at 218 Rockford St. The arts council may be reached at 786-7998.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.