Into the Woods: Theater Department Presents a Tale Of Tales

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Hannah Steinlauf '22

Many of the main characters of Into the Woods during the act one finale, when they believe to have found their happy ever after. From left to right is: Grandma (Sujude Hassan ‘24), Little Red Riding Hood (Riva Christy ‘24), The Baker’s Wife (Hannah Steinlauf ‘22), The Baker (Garid Garcia ‘22), Jack (Danny Boslet ‘22) and Jack’s Mom (Kaeli Knott ‘22). Provided by Hannah Steinlauf ’22

The Edison High School theater department presented Into the Woods, a brilliant combination of multiple fairytales and the story of a baker in his conquest to gain children, at J.P. Stevens High School in the second week of April. Under the direction theatre teacher Ms. Maureen O’Connor, he play attracted many students and teachers, giving them a fresh performance after almost six months.

The play begins with an introduction of four major parallel storylines: Jack (Danny Boslet ’22) and his mother (Kaeli Knott ’22), Cinderella (Robyn Nemeth ’23) and her step-sisters (Amy Boslet ’24 and Paris White ’22), Little Red Riding Hood (Riva Christy ’24), and Rapunzel’s witch mother (Lauren Dick ’22). In the center, a poor baker (Garid Garcia ’22) and his wife (Hannah Steinlauf ’22) long for a child, since the witch had cursed them with infertility because of the injustices the baker’s father (Matthew Sudnick ’22) had done years ago. The witch challenges the couple to complete four tasks in order to reverse the curse. 

The play’s portrayal with the coinciding storylines conveys the central theme: “Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood. Do not let it grieve you, no one leaves for good.””

All of the seniors, both cast and crew, involved in Into The Woods.

The first task is to find a cow with milky white hide, which the Baker and his wife happen to get from Jack, whose mother had pushed him to sell the cow because they needed food. The baker’s wife offers Jack some beans that she claims are magic in return for the cow, and even though Jack refuses at first, he eventually agrees. Jack’s mother throws these beans out, which leads to the growth of the classic beanstalk from which Jack gains unimaginable riches. 

The second task is to find a red cape, and the Baker takes this from Little Red Riding Hood who is on her way to her grandmother’s house. The girl refuses at first, but after the Baker helps her and her grandmother get out of the Big Bad Wolf’s stomach, she rewards him with it. Little Red Riding Hood then makes a scarf out of the wolf’s fur with her grandmother.

The third task is to find a bit of golden hair, which the Baker’s wife receives from Rapunzel. Rapunzel’s singing leads the Baker’s wife to the tower that she is trapped in, and when the wife notices her beautiful hair, she takes a lock for herself and escapes.

The fourth and final task was to get a gold slipper, which the Baker’s wife took from Cinderella on the night of her ball. Cinderella is reluctant to give up her shoe, but the Baker’s wife convinces her to take off the slipper. In exchange, the Baker’s wife offers her shoes to Cinderella, which would help the princess run faster.

The play’s portrayal with the coinciding storylines conveys the central theme: “Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood. Do not let it grieve you, no one leaves for good.”

The construction crew was responsible for creating the backstage props including the trees in the five scenes, Rapunzel’s tower, the cow, the baker’s table, and many other items. This team worked for around two months and they cooperated to create the costumes for all the characters. Even though most of the construction crew did not have prior experience, they put in a lot of time and effort into helping make this play a success. The members of the construction crew were Danny Boslet ’22, Charlize Caraballo ’25, Cara Genzano ’23, Mayukh Ghosh ’23, Sujude M. Hassan ’23, Caden Michalski ’22, Jack Orchid ’22, Alyssa Osiadacz ’24, Krrish Patel ’25, Josiah Ramos ’11, Brianna Reed ’22, Matthew Silvero ’22, and Leah Steinlauf ’24.

At the end of the play, the audience seemed awed by the elegant tie between vastly different stories, and applause overwhelmed the auditorium. Into the Woods served as an impressive showcase by the theater department to bring about lighter moods with the new season and warmer weather.

The full cast and crew of Into The Woods.