“Into the Woods” changes production schedule due to winter storm, moves to Lowe Theater

Into+the+Woods+will+be+performed+on+March+3-6+in+the+Lowe+Theater.+

Courtesy of SJS Fine Arts Department

“Into the Woods” will be performed on March 3-6 in the Lowe Theater.

Dawson Chang, Staff Writer

Weeks before the musical performances of “Into the Woods,” director Jamie Stires-Hardin realized that the set would not fit on the Great Lawn, its original location. As a result, the production moved to Lowe Theater on Feb. 8.

“Into the Woods” tells the adventure of two bakers who are cursed by a witch. In order to reverse the spell, the couple completes tasks, during which they meet fairytale characters, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.

At first, the cast planned to hold six shows over the span of two weeks. After losing a week of rehearsals due to Winter Storm Uri, however, directors changed the production schedule to March 3-6. Although the cast will perform for four consecutive nights, the amount of time and commitment put into recent rehearsals has remained roughly the same.

“The snowstorm definitely put things up into the air, but we’ve adapted so quickly to everything that there haven’t been many obstacles at all,” said junior Tanner Watson, who plays the Baker.

Since Lowe Theater offers better staging, lighting and equipment for the musical, some cast members prefer performing inside the theater and feel safe with COVID measures in place.

“The directors have made it very clear that our staging is very distanced. Everyone in the audience will have to wear a mask,” Watson said. “All around, I feel safe.”

During indoor rehearsals, cast members often remind each other to follow COVID guidelines.

We’ve been dreaming of our senior musical since we were freshmen.”

— Meridian Monthy

“The stage managers really make sure that we’re staying apart,” said senior Meridian Monthy, who plays the Baker’s Wife. “They’ll always call us out if we’re too close to each other when we’re taking a break or drinking water. There’s always someone watching over us to make sure that we’re staying safe.”

Usually, Lowe Theater fits 650 audience members, but due to social-distancing protocols, only 75 will watch the show per night. Despite the limited capacity, the cast still anticipates the musical with excitement.

“Last summer, I didn’t think the musical would happen this year,” Watson said. “I’m not disappointed at all; I’m just glad we get to do this.”

Monthy reflects on these changes and the importance of this year’s musical in her Upper School experience.

“A lot of the people in this show are seniors. We’ve been dreaming of our senior musical since we were freshmen,” Monthy said, “but with every change, we knew it could be shut down at any minute. So especially now, all of us really want to do this the best we can.”

Additional reporting by Shreyes Balachandran, Lillian Poag and Mia Hong.