The cast of Into the Woods stands staggered on the Spriet Stage holding books triumphantly in the air. The background set emulates a library and a large plant bean stock grows in the back middle. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Grand Theatre Opens its 2022/2023 Season with the High School Project: Into the Woods

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Directed by Saccha Dennis

Limited Engagement on the Spriet Stage
September 20 – October 1, 2022

 

September 13, 2022 – London ON – The Grand Theatre’s High School Project – the only of its kind in North America – returns to open the Theatre’s 2022-2023 season with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical, Into the Woods. Directed by notable Canadian actor and director, Saccha Dennis, Into the Woods plays September 20 to October 1, 2022 for twelve performances on the Spriet Stage

“This year, we welcome the High School Project back to the Grand for its 24th season with the incomparable Into the Woods,” says Grand Theatre Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum. “After two years of remote programming, it has been a true joy to have students back in our Theatre – reenergizing our spaces and showcasing how exciting the future of the arts are in Canada. These talented students have brought an entirely-new feeling to this beloved musical. It’s fresh, it’s magical, and it’s something that will fulfill the theatre wishes of even the most discerning audiences.”

In Into the Woods, the baker and his wife venture into the woods to find four magical ingredients in a quest to reverse a curse placed on them by the witch next door, and fulfill their deepest wish. On their journey, they encounter Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack, each on a quest to fulfill a wish of their own. Through peculiar paths and twisting trails, characters soon discover that not everything is as it seems, and that every story has more than one ending.

Into the Woods premiered in San Diego, California at the Old Globe Theatre on December 4, 1986. It ran for 50 performances. On November 5, 1987, the musical opened on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre. Following 765 shows, the production closed on September 3, 1989. Throughout the years, the musical has been performed in theatres across the globe and gained renewed popularity following its 2014 feature film, starring Meryl Streep. A revival of Into the Woods is currently running on Broadway, and receiving strong critical acclaim and audience numbers.

The Grand’s High School Project production of Into the Woods is led by Saccha Dennis (Director), Patrick Bowman (Music Director), and Greg Carruthers (Choreographer). The company is comprised of a cast of 26 student performers, 15 backstage students, and three orchestra students, from grades 9 through 12 in the Thames Valley District School Board and the London Catholic District School Board. Embracing the youthful spirit of the company, the production has been intentionally-designed to tell Sondheim’s and Lapine’s well-known tale through a new lens – engaging both new and old theatre lovers.

“When approaching Into the Woods, one of the greatest shows in the musical theatre canon, we knew we wanted to honour its spirit, while also presenting the show in a way that many will have never seen before,” remarks the productions Director Saccha Dennis.  “I believe that we have truly accomplished this and that our audiences will be in for a particular treat as they watch the talent of tomorrow bring this enchanting story to life – in person, and on-stage.”

The High School Project Into the Woods is on the Spriet Stage from September 20 to October 1, 2022. Single tickets range from $28 - $45 (plus HST and CIF) and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.

The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO, Into the Woods Title Sponsor Western Fair District, Make a Difference Youth Program Partner Libro Credit Union, and Program Sponsors Thames Valley District School Board, London District Catholic School Board, and Westminster College Foundation.

To learn more about the High School Project Into the Woods, please visit: grandtheatre.com/event/into-the-woods. Additional facts, photos, and updates can also be found by following @thegrandlondon and #GrandWoods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok.

THE HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT (HSP)

An acclaimed mentorship program unique in North America, the HSP began in 1998 with West Side Story. Since then, the Grand Theatre has produced 33 High School Projects.

The HSP offers an exceptional opportunity for students to receive education and training in the working environment of a professional theatre, at no cost to the participants. High school students from the London area are mentored by professional artists and coaches in all departments (acting, stage management, props, wardrobe, scenic art, sound, lighting, orchestra, and photography), culminating in a production on the Grand's Spriet Stage. The initiative provides leadership, creative, and communication skills that serve these students on and off stage - in every area of their lives.

 

The Grand Theatre wishes to acknowledge and honour the original stewards of the land on which our Theatre stands. Gratitude and recognition are extended to the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapewak peoples for preserving this land where we gather and create art.

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

In the heart of downtown London, Ontario lies one of Canada’s oldest regional theatres and a leading cultural hub of today: the Grand Theatre. Under the progressive leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Evan Klassen, the Grand proudly presents diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe – and around the corner – on its two stages. The not-for-profit theatre is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. Further, it is an ardent supporter of educational programming, as demonstrated through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. For more information, visit: grandtheatre.com.

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For more information please contact:
Caitlin Core, Communications Manager
ccore [at] grandtheatre.com
519-672-9030 ext. 266

HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT: INTO THE WOODS

MEDIA CALL

When:  Tuesday, September 20 at 1:00 p.m. (Cameras, please arrive at 12:30 p.m. to set up)
Where:  Spriet Stage, Grand Theatre, 471 Richmond Street, London, Ontario
What:  Into the Woods photo, video, and interview opportunities for media

THE CAST

Emma Bishop: Steward
Ella Brophy: Ensemble
Sierra Choong: Florinda
Miguel Constantin Mandapat: Cinderella's Stepmother
Will Cramp: Baker
George Crosby: Ensemble
Jasmine Darvasi: Jack's Mother
Jorja Denny: Granny + Cinderella's Mother
Evan Doerr: Ensemble
Isabella Espanol: Ensemble
Lauren Gracey: Baker's Wife
Karissa Kern: Little Red Ridinghood
Aldiyana Kruzel: Lucinda
Cindy Li: Cinderella
Alli Paris: Ensemble
Alex Pearce: Ensemble
Kieran Prouty: Rapunzel's Prince
Cami Rodriguez: Rapunzel
Ryan Shaw: Wolf
Kira Shuit: Ensemble
Leo Sigut: Cinderella’s Prince
Oliver Stanton: Jack
Charlie Stimac: Mysterious Man
Isaac Szoldatits: Narrator
Stella Yanga: Witch
Lydia Zadorsky: Ensemble

BACKSTAGE

Emily Alton: Stage Management
Alyssa Palma: Stage Management
Dexter Greene: Photography & Marketing
Ruthie Rennie: Sound
Matheo Van Der Mark: Props
Nadia Barakziye: Props
Riley Lindsay: Props
Kate Telfer: Props
Amy Bae: Wardrobe
Leen Chaiekh: Wardrobe
Mackenzie De Salvo Downe: Wardrobe
Ghost Vaillancourt: Wardrobe
Sarah Wu: Wardrobe
Sarena "Onyx" Nielsen: Scenic Art
Jordan Porter: Scenic Art

ORCHESTRA

Berkin Alper Girgin Orchestra: Keys 1
Sophia Tanaka Orchestra: Flute

PRODUCTION TEAM

Saccha Dennis: Director
Patrick Bowman: Music Director
Greg Carruthers: Choreographer
Holly Meyer-Dymny: Set Designer
Lisa Wright: Costume Designer
Louise Guinand: Lighting Designer
Emily Porter: Sound Designer
Matt Richardson: Fight & Intimacy Director
Barbara McLean Wright: Stage Manager
Rebecca Beith: Assistant Stage Manager