The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning musical “Into The Woods” on stage this summer, now through July 30. The show is being produced as a teen musical experience, in which a youth cast performs along with two local (and slightly older) actors who have had professional or university experience.

Matthew Saylor plays the role of The Baker. He’ll be attending the 9th grade at Owen J. Roberts High School this fall. He has previously been seen on stage at The Media Theatre in ‘13’, which was last summer’s teen production. He has also been seen as Aladdin in “Aladdin” at Owen J. Roberts Middle School, as The Artful Dodger in “Oliver!” at The Forge Theatre, as Colin in “The Secret Garden” and as Jack in “Titanic” with Barley Sheaf Players, and in the ensemble of “A Christmas Story” at The Walnut Street Theatre.

Of “Into The Woods”, Matthew says, “The production is so unique in that it is a fairy tale in which no one lives happily ever after.  It is a very complex plot where there is both humor and tragedy, and the technical aspect of the music is a great challenge for any performer. The main theme throughout the show seems to be that of uncertainty and in the end, “perhaps some things may be best left alone”.

“I play the role of the Baker in “Into The Woods””, he said.  “Of all of the characters, the Baker changes the most from Act I to Act 2. He is a good person, but gets caught up in the quest for obtaining his wish (at all costs) and then must pay the price for his actions.  He also realizes how much he depended upon his wife for everything.  Sadly, he learns the consequences of his wrong doings and vows  to change for the better for the benefit of his son.”

Matthew loves acting and performing. “Acting helps me most predominately in school as it gives me confidence when speaking in front of a class or to teachers. I have found that my classmates often request that I be the speaker for group projects due to my experience on stage (and I appreciate their confidence in me).  Improvisation skills learned in acting help me think quickly, make me a better listener, and somewhat unexpectedly, a better writer.”

He’s hoping the show has huge audiences. “I hope people come to see the show because it is a fantastic production portrayed by incredibly talented young performers.  The show contains such technically complex music for a teen summer show, which was accomplished in a remarkably short rehearsal timeframe.   A huge thank you goes to Jesse Cline and Ben Kapilow for their direction and dedication to the entire cast and to this production.”

For tickets to this summer's "Into The Woods" at The Media Theatre (July 7-30) call 610-891-0100 or visit Performances are Friday nights at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Most roles are double cast, so it's a different cast each weekend!


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