Monday, July 3, 2017


The Media Theatre has Stephen Sondheim's Tony winning musical "Into The Woods" on stage this summer, July 7 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.

Anna Grace Rosenthal plays the Baker’s Wife in this summer’s “Into The Woods”. She’ll be a high school sophomore this fall, and has been performing for at least five years. “At Media I have been honored to portray Debbie Wilkinson in “Billy Elliot” as well as Carolyn in “The Bridges of Madison County”, which were two professional Broadway Series musicals,” she said. “At other theatres I’ve been Baby June in “Gypsy”, Tootie in “Meet Me In St. Louis”, Brigitta in “The Sound of Music”, Jane Banks in “Mary Poppins”, and was in the Off-Broadway production of “Timmy The Great”. When I was younger, I was Annie.”

She feels that “Into The Woods” is very unique. “Up until the ‘80’s, Broadway musicals stayed away from fairy tales,” she said. “At that time they were mostly the province of Disney cartoons. I believe Sondheim’s musical changed that. It’s not a simple tale. The musical intertwines so many unrelated stories, and so many deep- yet simple- emotions. Everything is tied into one coherent musical story, about a Baker and his wife and their wish to have a child. It’s clever, but not so much that it’s difficult to follow. Plus, it’s farcical and tragic at the same time. Sondheim re-imagined fairy tales, casting them in a new light, and making them relevant in a new way for generations to come.”

She continued, “What’s interesting about this production is that most of the cast are teenagers. The show’s director, Jesse Cline, gives us the ability to create our own take on the roles. We have been taught at Media to be instinctive and responsive to other actors on the stage. Seeing how we, the teens, perform this iconic musical will be interesting and surprising.”

As per The Baker’s Wife, Rosenthal says, “She and her husband want a child. This simple desire propels the entire story, as they get caught up in each and every one of the fairy tales. The Baker’s Wife, to me, is a contemporary woman with an everyday problem, who—due to circumstances beyond her control—is being called upon to overcome insurmountable obstacles to achieve her goal.”

“You know, acting is about making choices and so is life,” she explained. “Understanding the role I play helps me to understand how to deal with situations I encounter in my own life.”

She thinks back for a moment on her time in Cline’s production of “The Bridges of Madison County”. “I loved that show,” she said. “The production was wonderful, the music was beautiful, the cast was superb, and I still treasure the entire experience. Being a part of a professional production like that helped me to realize that this is, definitely, the career I seek.”

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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