The University of Mississippi’s Theatre and Film program is premiering its production of “Into the Woods” on Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Fulton Chapel. There will be subsequent shows performed on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.
The Tony award-winning musical was written by James Lapine with music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim.
The story follows a childless baker and his wife and their quest to start a family, a witch who has placed a curse on them and other characters, many of them taken from storybook tales, the couple encounters during their journey.
Director and theater professor Dan Stearns spoke about what it was like to direct a show of this size and complexity.
“It was humbling, challenging, sleep-depriving and thrilling,” Stearns said. “It has been great to see the student performers rise to the challenge of Sondheim’s complex musical writing and intricate lyrics.”
Stearns noted how influential Sondheim was in the musical genre – the composer and lyricist died in 2021 – and said he’s grateful for what the composer created.
Cooper Thorpe, who portrays both the narrator and the mysterious man in the show, said this is the first main stage show that they’ve been heavily involved with.
“I am blown away by how talented everyone is. The rest of the cast and I have been working almost daily since mid-September,” Thorpe said. “ I can confidently say this is the best show I’ve been a part of.”
Maxwell Glasser, who plays major character Jack from the fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk,” fondly referred to the musical as a classic show that tells a wonderful story. He also noted the camaraderie among castmates.
“We have a very large cast, along with a big and hard working crew. But we’ve all come together to form a family of sorts,” Glasser said.
Glasser says that attending the university’s production of “Into the Woods” “will guarantee a night of laughter, unexpected twists on well-known fairytale characters and maybe some tears.”
For more information about the show and to buy tickets, visit the UM Theatre and Film website.