The Oakland University Department of Theatre will kick off its 2018-19 season on Thursday, Oct. 11 with Into the Woods, a “Once Upon a Time” tale that introduces the hopes and dreams of characters from some of our favorite fairy tales and explores the lengths we go to for our dreams — and the potentially high cost of getting what we want.
“It really is one of the best shows ever written, touching on themes of longing and wishing, self-discovery, family relationships, self-interest vs. the needs of the community, and our human need for storytelling,” said Scott Mikita, guest director. “And all of that is wrapped-up in a funny, clever fast-paced story.”
Featuring choreography by Rachel Constantino, Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It follows the Baker, Cinderella, Little Red and Jack as they meet the Witch, the Wolf and the Giant and discover that nice is different from good.
“The show has such wonderful music and lyrics, the book is so smart and the ideas touched upon so deep that it really has something for everyone,” Mikita said. “These fairytale characters are familiar, yet are treated with interesting twists. And the idea of finding out what happens after ‘happily ever after’ is part of the brilliance of this show. It is funny, sad, tuneful, thought-provoking and hugely entertaining. I feel so lucky to have been able to work with such a talented group of actor-sings, designers, musicians and staff.”
Annika Andersson, who plays the Baker’s Wife, said preparing for the role has been “an incredible experience.”
“It has forced me to take a look at the bumpier side of fairytale relationships and understand what it takes to maintain one’s happiness — if that’s entirely possible,” Andersson said. “As a married woman, the Baker’s Wife struggles to balance her own desires with those of her husband, something that can be found in all types of relationship.
“Although it is a musical about fairytales, Into the Woods does a wonderful job of presenting characters grounded in reality, and I loved discovering that within the Baker’s Wife,” she added.
One of five MainStage productions this season, Into the Woods takes place in Varner Studio Theatre on the following dates and times:
• Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.
• Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $22 general admission or $12 for students and the 10 a.m. matinee. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737, online without a service fee at startickets.com, or in person at the Varner Hall box office.
Varner Recital Hall is located at 371 Varner Drive. Maps of the campus are available at oakland.edu/map.
For more information about OU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, including upcoming programs and performances, call (248) 370-2030 or visit oakland.edu/smtd.