Drake Theatre releases a main stage production to a live audience

Drake University Theatre Department presents their upcoming musical “Into the Woods” to an in-person audience through a real-time live-streamed performance in the William S.E. Coleman Studio Theatre. Performances are limited to a restricted audience of only Drake Fine Arts students. 

Sarah Aubin as “Cinderella”

Director Erin Horst chose to direct “Into the Woods” because of the musical’s songwriting and fun fantasy characters that all have an important message to tell.

“I’ve always loved this show because of its incredibly intricate and brilliant musical score,”  Horst said. “I also love that it’s a story about real human experiences, told by intertwining fairytale stories we all know and love…these characters learn some of life’s most difficult lessons.”

Senior Sarah Aubin plays the character of “Cinderella” in the musical. Aubin highlights one of the lessons her unique character brings to the show. 

“My character, Cinderella, is much more than the classic Disney Princess,” Aubin said. “She is strong-willed and courageous and, despite marrying the Prince, she does not need a man to save her.” 

Drake’s production of Into the Woods stands out from past productions of this story. Senior, Shane Scandurra who plays “The Baker” explains the dark twist Drake Theatre has added.

“Our Production is definitely going to feel a little darker than most shows,” Scandura said. “Most productions of Into the woods go for a campy, comedic feel throughout the entire show, but with ours, you are going to feel a little more intensity and drama.” 

Ben Jaeger as “Jack” & Dina Perez “Jack’s Mom”

Another unique aspect of the show is its use of the stage and rehearsal space. Due to COVID-19 close contact and intimate staging is not possible. Sophomore Addie Thrower playing “The Baker’s Wife” comments on the unique use of staging and camera work for Into the Woods.
“I think our production of “Into the Woods” stands out because of our intricate set and use of different cameras in the space,” Thrower said. We are performing the show almost as if we are doing theatre in the round, which is very unique and challenging for us.”
Even with the new way of approaching educational theatre this year, Horst is hopeful for the future of performance art and is grateful for the opportunities she’s been given this semester. 

“I believe theatre will come back stronger than ever, and when that happens, our students will be ready to go,” Horst said. Theatre bonds us as a society. I tell the students every day we are so lucky to be working on a show right now….we’re lucky to be learning in classrooms.

Into the Woods runs April 1-3 at 7:30 pm and April 4 at 2:00 in the William S.E. Coleman Studio Theatre. Drake fine art students can reserve their ticket at https://www.drake.edu/fineartsboxoffice/

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