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STC journeying ‘Into the Woods’

The Witch( Autumn Steinback) explains to the Baker (Luis Avalos) and his Wife (Libby Albright) as to why she put a curse on them. STC's Music and Theatre Departments will present a production of ‘Into the Woods’, Nov. 4,5, and 6 at the Wieting Theatre at 7:00 p.m. -- Contributed photo

South Tama Music and Theatre Departments are busy rehearsing, building sets, gathering props and costumes for their production of Sondheim’s and Lapine’s Tony Award winning musical, Into the Woods, November 4, 5, and 6 at the Wieting Theatre at 7:00 p.m.

The title of the musical, Into the Woods, is a metaphor for the journey of life. In life, we all have good times…and we all have bad times, even tragedies. It is how we cope and recover from those bad times that really let us know who we are and what kind of metal we have within us. As the cast sings, “So into the woods you have to go again, you have to every now and then. Into the woods no telling when, be ready for the journey. Into the Woods you have to grope, but that’s the way you learn to cope. Into the woods to find there’s hope of getting through the journey.”

The journey of life is the major theme of the musical. Sometimes we persevere as the cast does to achieve what they really want in Act I. Sometimes we are not content with what we have after we have worked so hard to attain it. The characters share this with us at the beginning of Act II. Sometimes we have to continue to feel our way through the journey of life as the answers are not readily available; however, it is important that we have hope, for without hope, how will we ever continue on the journey of life?

Two other prominent themes are dealing with fear and the loss of innocence. At times, fear drives our lives. Sometimes that fear is healthy and pushes us on to bigger and better achievements. Sometimes it is paralyzing. Sometimes fear forces us to go where we should not go. The Baker and His Wife fear that if they do not do what the Witch bids they will never have a child of their own. Although she knows she should send Jack to help defeat the Giantess, who is seeking revenge for her husband’s death at Jack’s hand, Jack’s mother forbids him from doing so because Jack is her only child; and she is afraid.

Naivete drives us as well. Because we are clueless, we do dumb things, even dangerous things. Most of us don’t listen to advice, and we have to find out the hard way. We don’t know what it is that we should be afraid. We start out innocently thinking the world is safe until we are hurt, and then we become untrusting. Little Red Riding Hood is innocent as she skips down the path to Grandmother’s house, bringing her a basket of goodies. The dark woods are “just trees” and the wolf seems friendly enough, so what is there “to fear?” Only after Red is eaten by the Wolf and rescued by The Baker, does she realize that she had trusted unwisely. She becomes much wiser and…. jaded.

Rapunzel is locked in a tower by the Witch, seeing nobody. Her innocence is completely lost after she is put out into the world by her Prince, giving birth to twins, and then losing her Prince. Rapunzel wants nothing to do with the Witch, who tried unsuccessfully to protect her from the world. The Witch sings, “Now you know what’s out there in the world. No one stays untainted by the world.”

The characters know at the end of the musical that all have to venture into the unknown now and then. “Into the woods and through the fear, you have to take the journey…” “Into the woods each time you go, there’s more to learn of what you know.” It is just part of the journey of life.

Come venture into the woods with the cast and crew as they continue on their journey to bring the community a quality production. Advanced tickets will be on sale October 21 at the high school office.