Year 7 students are performing a junior version of Stephen Sondheim’s musically demanding show.
“They’ve risen to the challenge. They’re pretty awesome,” says Lara Jensen, one of the show’s four directors and a technology and design teacher at the Prep.
Running Feb. 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. in Weston Hall, Into the Woods is a fractured version of some of the best-known fairy tales and includes such characters as Cinderella, Jack (of Beanstalk fame), Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood. Although three students from The Bishop Strachan School have joined the cast and crew of 25 UCC students, “We certainly don’t gender-specify the roles,” says Monika Kastelic, one of the Prep’s arts co-ordinators. “Everyone gets a choice.”
Jensen has been involved with the February musical for about seven years, her passion a by-product of her own performance experiences.
“We have amazing facilities at UCC for athletics, but I like to give the boys another avenue to express themselves,” she says. “It’s fun for me to see them in a different light and get to know them in a different way.”
Jensen enjoys seeing students learn how to show the personalities of their characters onstage through movement and facial expression, even if they aren’t in the spotlight. To assist them in their portrayals, she organized a group outing to see the musical Come From Away, followed by a special Q&A with the show’s cast and crew.
“They came back inspired to be as synchronized on stage as the professionals are,” Jensen says, “and they were awed by how many lines the actors were able to learn.”
All of this inspiration should translate to magic onstage, as the actors and the crew give the production their all.
Says Jensen, “It may be nerve-wracking before the show starts, but they’ll be proud of themselves for having done it.”