In Education, Jr & High School

Love, Loyalty and Sacrifice: Students to Perform “Into the Woods”

Careful the things you say \ Children will listen \ Careful the things you do \ Children will see and learn \ Children may not obey, but children will listen \ Children will look to you for which way to turn… – lyrics from the “Children Will Listen” by Stephen Sondheim, “Into the Woods”

mms-into-the-woods-boysPacked full of humor, memorable melodies and witty lyrics, “Into the Woods” combines several well-known fairy tales with an original story of a childless Baker and his wife, who initiate the story’s action by attempting to reverse a curse on their family in order to have a child.

“The story’s theme is to be aware of the influence you have on others, whether it be your own children, or simply other individuals you interact with,” commented senior Bella Sol Padilla. “I will be playing the role of Little Red Riding Hood, a young girl who is trying to navigate her way through the woods. Similarly, I am also a young individual trying to make my way through life as I transition from high schooler to college student.”

“The production of ‘Into the Woods’ delves into the depths of darkness, morality and humor, “ said Director Chelsea Otterness. “This play is as multifaceted as the human experience itself. We venture beyond archetypal characters, delving into the repercussions of pursuing selfish agendas. Our talented students infuse their roles with years of experience, pushing the boundaries of characterization and showcasing their prowess in both acting and musical performance.”

“The main message of “Into the Woods” is to be careful what you wish for,” commented senior Cy Harris. “It’s an allegory for life. I am playing the Baker’s Wife, a character who experiences love and loss. She is stuck in this mediocre life, and struggles with love and who she loves. I relate to feeling trapped in a box, not necessarily of marriage, but of being a woman and the opportunities that are available to me. She is both a powerful character and one that makes mistakes, which makes her more relatable.”

Into the Woods” (ITW) is a monumental work by one of the most beloved, revered and important American composers/lyricists of musical theater, Stephen Sondheim, who died in 2021.

mms-into-the-woods“Sondheim’s works are both clever and lush and lead the listener into profound thoughts and feelings,” commented Holly Ota, MMS performing arts music director. “This story challenges students – and the audience – to consider what they wish for, what means they are willing to employ to pursue those wishes and what the true value of receiving those wishes may be. “In the process, the essence of love, loyalty, responsibility and sacrifice are weighed against the pitfalls of greed, jealousy and ego. ‘Into the Woods’ provides a heavy performing arts education opportunity in its length, breadth and the professional-level vocal skill necessary.”

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by James Lapine. Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine. Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. Original Broadway production by Heidi Landesman, Rocco Landesman, Rick Steiner, M. Anthony Fisher, Frederic H. Mayerson, Jujamcyn Theaters. Originally produced by the Old Globe Theater, San Diego, CA. “Into the Woods” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

mms-into-the-woods-2Mount Madonna School has a longstanding tradition of performing arts for students preschool through high school; and beyond outstanding performances, engaging in performing arts prepares students for life well beyond the stage.

“I value performing arts a lot,” commented Harris. “It’s important to have a class, especially in high school, that encourages us to express ourselves in a non-academic way. Sometimes, the constant pressure of academically challenging classes gets overwhelming, and performing arts provides both a break and an opportunity. I think it helps build character. You need a lot of bravery to perform, and be willing to take risks even if it’s embarrassing sometimes. It also is a way to connect because we get to interact with more than just our class.”

Classmate Bella Sol Padilla said she recognized the benefits of being onstage beyond the experience, itself:

“Performing arts helps people come out of their shell,” said Padilla. “When I started at Mount Madonna School, I would never have sung in front of an audience. With encouragement and a safe environment, I was able to blossom. Now, I will be performing a solo and multiple songs in a show!”

On January 27 and 28 at 2:00pm Mount Madonna School (MMS) will present its high school production of “Into the Woods.” Tickets are on at Adult tickets are $15; $10 for 18 and under; all seats are reserved.

Nestled among the redwoods on 380 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believes a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The program, accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.

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