Into the Woods - April 23 - April 25, 2015

AC Reynolds High School

 End Notes 

Director’s Note

Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.

King Lear


I saw Into The Woods for the first time last summer and was completely captivated by its rawness. This was not a play about fantastical events, or magic created through special effects and money; this was a play about unfolding the fairytale to expose the truth of our shared human experience. I thought it was a story perfectly made for teenagers. In high school, teenagers are constantly embarking on new journeys and navigating their own trip through the woods and they succeed! But that success is only the end of Act 1.

Without warning, the lights flicker and a large crash is heard, shaking the entire playhouse. The actors fall to the ground and through a group effort they realize that a giant has fallen from the sky, trampling their garden and leaving a path of destruction across the kingdom. Massive death happens in moments. Grief and guilt take over the character’s actions. They collectively kill the narrator and are left without the person to unfold the next sequence of events, and so they must unfold their own future. The giant crashing down to earth and the subsequent trying experiences is the beginning of Act 2 and the beginning of a teenager’s entrance into life after high school.

As the show nears its end, only the very essence of who these characters are remains - and they look an awful lot like us, the audience. It happens seamlessly; we are shown the very fears and truths of what it means to be a child, to be a parent, to be a lover, a friend, to be simply human. At long last, the father is left alone at the center of the stage. He unfolds the swaddle and sings to his infant child about the stories that are true to him.

This play has paralleled my life. As Oklahoma finished its run last year, a “giant” fell on my house.  My mother passed away in May after a long, valiantly fought battle.  This left me to unfold my truth without a narrator-- a daunting task which, as in this story, has proven to be both heartbreaking and empowering.

I will be leaving Reynolds this June to pursue an advanced degree in Shakespeare in Stratford England.  I am forever grateful to the young people with whom I work. They have helped me navigate my path through the woods.  

Thank you for being a part of my story.  I hope you will return to see the new ones Reynolds produces; I know they will not disappoint.

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