Saturday, July 8, 2017


The Media Theatre presents Stephen Sondheim’s Tony winning classic “Into The Woods” through July 30 this summer.  Sondheim, working with James Lapine, create a timeless and relevant piece using fairy tale characters that is both touching and profound.

Into The Woods” is a musically sophisticated show, difficult for professional actors with varied careers. In this summer production, the focus is on teenage actors who work with director Jesse Cline and music director Ben Kapilow to put a youthful ‘spin’ on the popular Broadway classic.

“It’s a part of our continuing mission to highlight music theatre education,” said Cline, The Media Theatre’s Artistic Director. “Each summer we produce what we refer to as ‘teen musicals’ or ‘youth productions’, allowing the participants to explore who they are as actors while they perform, on our stage, a full two-act Broadway musical.”
Austy Hicks as Jack
“In the past we have done shows that really dealt with their own age level, such as “13”, “School of Rock” which we did last summer, and “Grease”, “Footloose” and similar titles,” Cline explained. “This year, we thought we would go in a bit of a different direction, allowing the young actors to discover who they are as they approach a musical which has a lot of meaning and relevance to them, but are not necessarily roles young people would portray.”

Cline continued with, “The show, “Into The Woods”, is very difficult for even the most professional of actors who have varied careers. For this teen cast to step into these roles and do such a great job within only three weeks of rehearsal is quite an accomplishment for all of them.”
Molly Sorensen as The Baker's Wife
“A few of the actors are pre-teens, such as the ones portraying Little Red Riding Hood,” he said. “And we also have two young men in the production who are in their early twenties, which set an example for the younger members of the cast. Both of them, Austy Hicks and Liam Snead, have regional productions in their credits. Liam is actually a graduate of Ithaca College with a BFA in Music Theatre, and Austy is a past winner of our summer “Vocalist” contest, having now appeared at several theatres in the area.”

“One of the actors, Owen Mannion, has been involved here at the theatre for a decade,” Cline said. “He is now preparing to enter Manhattanville College in the fall with a theatre scholarship. He has truly gained an understanding of what it takes to have a career in music theatre over the years, having been on our stage many times, working in our box office, and also assisting us with marketing.”
Veronica Garrubbo as Cinderella with Liam Snead as The Baker
The production also features two of The Media Theatre’s recent “Vocalist Junior” competition winners, Veronica Garrubbo and Molly Sorensen. “We have a very talented cast,” Cline said. “Each have been involved here at the theatre in some way, and all are shining examples of our education program.”

Into The Woods” follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

“With an experience that includes costume designers, professional stage managers and crew, plus a live orchestra, the cast gains another avenue of education and experience,” Cline said. “It’s a terrific way for the ensemble to learn more, first hand, about what it takes to be a professional.”

Into The Woods” is on stage each weekend in July, with performances Friday nights at 7pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm. The production is ‘double cast’, meaning that each actor has an opportunity during the show’s run to play both a featured role and to be in the Ensemble. For tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit
Veronica Garrubbo with Owen Mannion, as The Prince

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