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February 2008

Release Date: February 11, 2008

Arts at ASU Presents a Musical Fairy Tale

Some of the most popular children’s fairy tale characters ever will come to life when Angelo State University presents “Into the Woods” for the Arts at ASU spring musical beginning Friday, March 7, in the University Auditorium.

Show times will be at 8 p.m. March 7-8 and 14-15. A special matinee performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 9. Tickets are $8 general admission, $4 for non-ASU students and $3 for ASU students. Admission is free for Arts at ASU subscribers and ASU activity card holders. The University Auditorium is located in the Administration Building, 2601 W. Ave N.

“Into the Woods” is a Tony Award-winning play based on the book by James Lapine and featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The story intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them further to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. The main characters are taken from the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella. They are tied together by an original tale involving a baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, complete with references to several other well-known fairy tales and cameo appearances by Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

“It’s great because we start with these stories and characters that we have known and loved since we were children and we get to view them in some grown-up situations,” said Dr. Bill Doll, drama professor and the play’s director. “It’s really sweet in the complexity of the story and the complexity and beauty of the music. It’s just a lot of fun.”

Senior drama major Jacqueline Stewart of Del Rio will play Cinderella. Her ASU theatre resume includes roles in “West Side Story” and “Absent Friends.”

Jack, of beanstalk fame, will be played by junior drama major Travis Morganstean of De Leon. He has also had roles in previous ASU productions of “West Side Story,” “Greetings” and “Destiny Leaves a Lot to the Human Genome Project.”

The role of Little Red Riding Hood will be taken on by freshman education major Jamie Westfall of Princeton in her ASU theatre debut.

Senior music major Audrey Hurley will portray Rapunzel in her first ASU drama role. She has also performed in the Angelo Civic Theatre productions “Oklahoma” and “Chicago.”

The role of the Baker will be played by senior music major Justin Yates, with freshman drama major Alexis Joliff portraying the Baker’s Wife.

David Pedersen, a senior German major from San Angelo, will take on the critical role of Narrator. He has appeared in numerous ASU productions and has been a technical assistant on many others.

Other characters will by played by Davina Valles (Jack’s Mother), Trina Medellin (Cinderella’s Stepmother), Rachel Johnson (Florinda), Laurie Proveaux (Lucinda), Marcos Chavira (Cinderella’s Father) and Megan Reeves (the Witch).

Also, Molly Schwencke (Cinderella’s Mother), McArthur Moore (the Wolf), Domonique Stephens (Granny and the Giant), James Black (Cinderella’s Prince), Ben Briggs (Rapunzel’s Prince), Sarah Wylie (Snow White) and Norma Allie Perez (Sleeping Beauty).

Music for the production will be directed by Dr. Scott Raines, associate professor of music, and the stage manager is senior drama major Nathan Prater.

“Into the Woods” won several Tony Awards during its initial Broadway run that began in 1987 and its Broadway Revival in 2002. It also garnered a Lawrence Olivier Award during its 1990 run in London. Lapine won a Tony Award for his book of the same title and Sondheim is one of only a handful of people who have won Oscar, Tony and Grammy awards and a Pulitzer Prize.

“Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim always mean a challenge in the difficulty of the music,” Doll said. “But, I think when you challenge people they step up and we are working very hard. There are some funny music and scenes as well as some very poignant music and scenes.”

“Fairy tales are vital to the plotting of the script,” he added. “That makes it lots of fun because you are watching the action and you are also remembering what these stories were like in your imagination as a child. It’s really a great kick, I think, for adults.”

Doll is the director of the University Theatre and has directed more than 80 plays at the collegiate level. He was also the 2007 Texas Educational Theatre Association University Educator of the Year. Before coming to ASU in 1999, he was a tenured professor at Rose State College and served as the chair of fine arts at Howard College. He holds a Ph.D. in fine arts/theatre from Texas Tech University.

Tickets for “Into the Woods” go on sale Feb. 27 in the ASU box office. The box office is open from 2-6 p.m. weekdays in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building. For reservations, call 942-2000.

For more information on the production and cast, contact the ASU University Theatre at 942-2146.