Theatre Wakefield takes on most ambitious show yet: Sondheim’s Into the Woods

On the eve of Theatre Wakefield’s 15th anniversary, the theatre troupe has decided to take on the challenge of staging one of the most difficult Broadway productions of all time – Stephen
Sondheim’s Into the Woods
.

With its complex score, 23 actors, special effects and emotional themes, Theatre Wakefield is benefiting from the deep pool of talent in a small village to pull it off. Performances will be held at the Wakefield Centre on Friday, April 28th at 7pm; Saturday, April 29th at 1pm and 7pm; Friday, May 5th at 7pm; Saturday, May 6th at 1pm and 7pm. Tickets can be purchased online at theatrewakefield.ca or in person at the Wakefield Centre during opening hours.

“It’s a massive undertaking and the village has been hard at work to put it all together since November”, said Jeffrey Ferguson, the show’s Producer. “When we tried a big musical production four years ago, it was a massive success, sold out even with an added performance. They said it couldn’t be done, but we did it. The level of ambition has only grown since then!”

In a further step to involve the whole community, artist Marc Walters wove bare trees and set them around the village. People have begun to decorate them with their own branches and hangings. The art installation will be brought into the Wakefield Centre in advance of the performances so that people can admire the visual artistic work of the village as they enter the woods.

Co-directors Scott and Éric Hébert-Daly have been in love with the show for over 27 years since they first met. “It’s a labour of love for us – and a play that we’ve wanted to tackle from the early days of our relationship”, said Scott Hébert-Daly. “If we could sing, we likely would have wanted to perform in it ourselves!”

Music has been led by Deborah Thomson who has worked in dozens of theatrical works most notably at GCTC among other companies. Costume designer Vanessa Passmore, known for her incredible designs for Steampunk Ottawa, has outdone herself with a wardrobe of fantastic costumes that will surprise audiences. Set designer, Tanya Chicoine, is constructing the woods with fabric, wire, wood and light.

Larry Laxdal, many years the Technical Director of GCTC has provided special effects using innovative technology.

“We were certain that we couldn’t pull off something that would be as incredible as our imaginations. But once again, Wakefield proved us wrong. It’s going to be a stunning show” said Éric Hébert-Daly.

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