After 5 months of rehearsal, Into The Woods has come to an end. We had an amazing cast, amazing directors, an amazing pianist, you know, all that good stuff.
Back in January, we held auditions. If you had to miss the audition day (like me, unfortunately), you were able to audition on callback day! I love that Travis, our director, gave more students the opportunity to participate. If I missed audition day and couldn’t be in the show, I’d be in tears for like, the rest of my life, that’s how much I love doing theater with EPIC.
Now it may seem like January was a long time ago, but when you only have 2 hours of rehearsal a week, for about 20 weeks, that is not a long time for such a big production! So much work went into this.
Rehearsals went pretty smoothly through the first few months, probably because the casting was so great and everyone was able to shine in their roles. During rehearsals, our directors would work with individual cast members, or with a few kids in the hall on songs and choreography. I think splitting us up in smaller groups worked really well, and helped us get through a tight rehearsal schedule faster.
(Even when there were little kids in the hall, staring at me practicing my choreography, whispering “what the heck…?” to their friends.)
By May, we were off book (or supposed to be) so it was time to start putting together costumes and sets. Bree (Luke’s mom) came in, and created the most amazing scenery with us! We started by wrapping styrofoam tubes in masking tape, and we would later turn them into vines. (No, not the dead social media platform, the thing you find in the woods.) Some of us would be assigned to create specific props while others were rehearsing on stage, so there was always a lot going on to get everything done in time.
We even had a costume workshop at Toula’s (Miyo’s mom’s) house on Memorial Day, so that the cast could come in and improve our costumes and work on more of the sets. Later, that event turned into a pool party (since it was a holiday after all) with a contest to see who could get the most kids soaked. I was unfortunately pushed in the pool (coughcoughLULUcoughcough), and I was drenched in freezing water when Luke got ahold of the hose. I think getting together during times like these helped the cast bond, which helps us form real connections when we finally get to the stage.
During the MS8 arts showcase at NYU, about a week before Into the Woods opened, Olivia (Cinderella), Jack (Jack!) and I (Little Red) performed our solos for students and parents to help promote the show. It was so inspiring to see the other arts groups perform, and it was also a fun way for us to prepare a little more for opening night.
Soon, tech week came, which is the final week before opening night. We all brought in our finished props, like Mara’s awesome magic staff (it really lit up!) and the paper maché golden egg for Jack. I was blown away by all the incredible costumes – when I saw Mikiara’s stepsister costume I was in love! And Martine’s quick-change costumes that let her switch between the steward and Milky White were genius!
The first tech rehearsal was admittedly a little chaotic, but by the second tech rehearsal, we were prepared.
Oh, and after that rehearsal, we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to the teachers’ lounge in PS8 to get mentally prepared. If hanging out in the teacher’s lounge doesn’t make you want to join theater club, I don’t know what will.
In that room, it was all nerves and PEOPLE STEALING MY PHONE TO TAKE PICTURES, and there was a group of kids singing Hamilton songs in a circle while watching Miyo (Lucinda) get her hair curled. She looked like Carmelita from A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think we finally started chilling out once we found the soda machine and had cupcakes and pizza. But before we knew it, Travis was running into the room, telling us it was time to go upstairs.
It was our first performance, and although there were a few mess-ups, I think we did GREAT. Seriously, I’m so proud of the cast. By the second performance, we had it down. We didn’t slam the auditorium doors on our entrances and exits, no one forgot any lines, and the mics worked great. Yay us!
The audience was so enthusiastic both nights which really made us feel supported and helped the show come to life.
After bows, the show was over. It’s a weird feeling to work up to something so big for so long and realize it’s come to an end.
We took down the sets, took home our props and costumes, and went home or out to dinner. (Seriously, performing makes you hungry.)
As I’ve said about a past show, “the show’s not really over until the cast party.” So using that logic, we won’t be really finished until this coming Friday. But I’m going to miss working with the cast. Every person was so insanely talented and worked so hard no matter how big or small their part.
I’d like to give a special thanks to a few people. First, Travis and Max, our directors. Without them, we wouldn’t have a show in the first place. They are kind and supportive, give constructive feedback, and even tolerate the scooters we brought to rehearsal. Also, they bought us pizza. Thanks for that!
I’d also like to thank Paolo for being the most amazing pianist. He helped every single person with their songs, and he was just awesome in general.
Another big thanks to all the parents and grandparents who helped with costumes, set, and props. Especially Bree, because the PS8 auditorium has never looked this good. Ever.
I’d like to thank Josiah for being an awesome assistant director, and Talia and Katelyn from EPIC for helping us during tech week.
And thank you to everyone in the cast! I can’t wait to do theater club with you all next year!
Also while I have your attention, IF YOU ARE IN MS8, JOIN THEATER CLUB!!! WE ARE THE GREATEST PEOPLE YOU WILL EVER MEET!
By Thalia G., Class 701
Photo credit to Andrea Alexander, Jon Armstrong, Erin Brienza, Dennis Gephardt, and Liz Gumbinner.