Something “giant” is coming to The Hill School campus this spring! The Ellis Theatre Guild will present Into the Woods, as the spring play on Thursday, May 20 through Sunday, May 23. The Brothers Grimm fairytales will come to life in an outdoor setting that celebrates the return of live theatre.

This is a historic production in many ways – from the cast to the set to the costumes and music. Naomi Ude ’21, who shined in Chicago and Hairspray, will take center stage as the Witch. This is the first time in Hill School history that a Black female student will play the lead role in a performance.

Naomi leads a cast and crew of 42 talented students (see below), who will present the largest production ever at The Hill. Not only will the play be held outdoors, but a section of the Far Fields is being transformed into a 150-foot stage, all of which will be constructed by students.

Once on stage, a colorful combination of costumes and music will weave the show together. Students, under the tutelage of Bobby Goodrich, a Philadelphia-area wig and costume designer, are crafting handmade costumes for each member of the cast. Students also worked with Anne Cubberly, an artist who specializes in giant puppet-making, to create the “Giant” that will be used in the play.  

Finally, while this performance of Into the Woods features the classic storyline and lyrics, the audience will enjoy new orchestrations of the music. Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the musical’s original music and lyrics, has signed off on updated instrumentation of the music that will have a more modern sound. According to Director of the Center For The Arts Chris McGriff, who has a professional connection with the songwriter, Sondheim is “looking forward to seeing what the cast does with the musical.”

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. https://www.mtishows.com/into-the-woods

Cast:

The Baker: Luke Gerdeman '23
The Baker’s Wife: Kendal Thomas '21
Little Red Riding Hood: Tabitha Mastrangelo '21
The Witch: Naomi Ude '21
Cinderella: Eleanor Rice '21
Jack: Timothy Woodward '24
Florinda: Holly Perna '22
Lucinda: Gaby Henao '22
Jack’s Mother: Greta Haverstick '21
Milky-White: Andrew Spatarella '22
Rapunzel’s Prince: Samir Khan '21
Cinderella’s Stepmother: Parker McQuaid '21
Cinderella’s Prince: Max Robertson '21
The Mysterious Man: Daniel Schlegel '23
Rapunzel: Cordelia Davies '23
The Narrator: Daniel Schlegel '23
Cinderella’s Mother / Little Red’s Grandmother: Briana Hartman '21
The Wolf: Geordie Ravara '22
Cinderella’s Father: Jayden Nyce '21
The Steward: Andreas Haperis '21

Crew:

Cameron Beckey '23
Araiya Casriel '24
Diemmy Dang '24
Kelly Grable '23
Emma Herzog '24
Ryann Holladay '24
Payton Jobson '23
Morgan Kessler '21
Arwen Lutwyche '22
Isabella Moranheras '22
Ayana Morgan '21
Chuyi (Isa) Pan '21
Lilian Rizek '22
Hanqi (Carrie) Shang '23
Nimala Sivakumar '23
Maimouna Syla '21
Sophie Walsh '24
Brooke Zelin '24
Adam Benzinane '21
Tyler Calcagni '21
Joseph Magen '21
Zachary Rice '24
Martin Tran '22