Theatre Conservatory Students present INTO THE WOODS

Theatre Conservatory Students present INTO THE WOODSSouth Coast Repertory's Summer Players will present the award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical Into the Woods on the Julianne Argyros stage, directed by Hisa Takakuwa, with musical direction by Erin McNally. Performances by SCR's Theatre Conservatory students run Aug. 12-20; tickets are on sale now at www.scr.org.

Fairy tales begin "once upon a time" and end "happily ever after." Not so fast! After all the dreams come true in this Tony Award-winning musical, everybody returns to the woods for a reality check. Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Jack (of beanstalk fame) and Rapunzel get tangled up with a bevy of other fairytale charactersand a few new ones created to add to the chaosand discover the unexpected consequences of having wishes come true. Journey into a fantastical world where traditional fairytales take on fractured new lives and teach important new lessons.

Stephen Sondheim never fails to turn a story into a more powerful journey for audiences of all backgrounds, said Takakuwa.

"He has written a beautiful, lush, funny, deep and thoughtful musical. These are stories we all know and love told in a fresh and surprising way. There are resonances for all ages to enjoy, so it's an especially great show for families to share."

Into the Woods is a key production to Theatre Conservatory students, according to Takakuwa.

"The chance to work on Sondheim offers such a great challenge. The characters are colorful and specific. The story is told so completely through both the words and music. The show lives in a place between fantastical and the real, between a child's wishes and an adult's experience. It's a world to which young performers can give an authentic voice and a journey in which they can find a distinct and moving truth."

This is Takakuwa's and McNally's 11th musical together. Takakuwa has been director of SCR's Theatre Conservatory for 12 years and has performed with SCR's Educational Touring Productions and as Sally in A Christmas Carol. She is a former member of the classical theatre company A Noise Within.

McNally is an actor, vocalist and educator. A longtime Theatre Conservatory instructor, she created SCR's musical theatre classes for advanced teen students. She has been a frequent guest soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, among other venues.

The design and creative team includes Sara Ryung Clement, set design; Kathryn Poppen, costume design; Karyn Lawrence, lighting design; Jeff Polunas, sound design; Hisa Takakuwa and Erin McNally, casting; Jackie S. Hill, production manager; and Kat Barrett, stage manager.

Dates: Saturday, Aug. 12 and 19 and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 20 at 1 and 5 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets: $17 (children) and $21 (adults), available through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at www.scr.org.

Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson and led by Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Managing Director Paula Tomei, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation's largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. Of SCR's more than 500 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes, eight Pulitzer nominations, a Tony Award Nomination, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. Its year-round Theatre Conservatory offers acting classes for kids, teens and adults. www.scr.org.

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