STC musical to be featured at Iowa Thespian Festival

Into the Woods musical director, Chris McFate, works with Ivy Viramontes (Little Red Riding Hood) on getting the musical timing correct for "Your Fault" as Darcy Lamb, (choreographer and assistant director) looks on. -- Contributed photo

“Into the woods, it’s time, and so I must begin my journey.” Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.

And so, the STC Music and Theatre Departments are starting their journey to their home performances of Into the Woods at the Wieting Theatre on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 4th ,5th, and 6th and then packing up and moving the set, props, cast and crew for the Friday night, November 12th mainstage performance at the Iowa Thespian Festival, held at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) on the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Stage. Being chosen as a mainstage at the Iowa Thespian Festival is an honor. The cast and crew will be adjudicated for a performance slot at the International Thespian Festival, held at its new site of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Into the Woods combines five Brother Grimm’s fairy tales: “Cinderella,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “The Baker and His Wife,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Rapunzel.” The first act weaves these stories together as the characters persevere to achieve their dreams and wishes as well as ultimately living “happily ever after.” Though all the characters believe that they have reached their goals of happily ever after at the end of Act I, Act II brings all of them back to reality, where they discover that all that glitters is not gold or having does not necessarily bring one happiness.

Rehearsals started on August 16th and 17th with read-thrus with the following three weeks’ rehearsals concentrating on learning the music. Blocking rehearsals began at the Wieting Theatre on September 13th.

Producing any musical is a challenge; but taking it on the road to the Iowa Thespian Festival raises the challenge exponentially. Besides utilizing almost 60 students in the cast and crew, there is a village of adults who are helping this musical come to life. They are the following: Chris McFate, musical director; Dixie Forcht, stage director; Darcy Lamb, choreographer and assistant director; Shane Manfull, technical director; Jeff Shaw, set designer, Ellen Moran, lighting director; Ruth Anne Kosbau, head costumer; Marla Behounek, assistant costumer; Mary Fasse-Shaw, publicity; Nancy Smith, Teresa Smith, and Josh Grimes, pianists.

As cast members from the musical would sing, “Into the woods without regret, the choice is made, the task is set” so the cast, crew, directors, and other adults begin their journey as their task to bring Into the Woods to life locally is set.