First Hebrew Production of INTO THE WOODS to Feature Male Witch, Female Narrator
BroadwayWorld has learned that the first Hebrew production of Stephan Sondheim and James Lapine's INTO THE WOODS will have a male actor playing the role of the Witch, while a female actress will be playing the Narrator. Both roles are traditionally portrayed by actors of the opposite genders.
The Witch will be played by Roi Dolev, an alumnus of the renowned Interlochen Arts Academy, where he was first introduced to the musical, who is also producing and directing INTO THE WOODS in its Israeli debut.
"It's very exciting to get to share the American culture I was exposed to while attending Interlochen with Israeli audiences, while adding a local touch to it," Dolev stated. "The Israeli LGBTQ community is a very active one, and getting to play the Witch in drag adds a whole new layer to it. She's different than the other characters, which makes them very afraid and hateful toward her, while making her very defensive and hurtful -- returning that hate. We still have a lot to learn from this cautionary tale as a society."
The choice to cast a female Narrator was not originally planned and was made after actress Yael Rochkind auditioned for a different role, which was taken by another actress. The casting team was in awe of Rochkind's talent and presence and came up with the unique casting choice.
"It makes the story about mothers, more so than fathers," Dolev added. "When the Baker tells the tale at the finale, he breaks the runaway father's cycle, and continuing the mother's story, instead."
"It's a privilege getting to share this story in the Middle East, where the cycle of violence has yet to be broken, and we hope to inspire the locals to come together as a community and work towards peace," Dolev concluded.
Pictured: Roi Dolev (Witch) by Oren Hasson; Yael Rochkind (Narrator) by Hila Shayer.