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'Into the Woods' to open Feb. 23 at UW-Eau Claire

February 15, 2012
 Into The Woods
EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire music and theatre arts department will present the musical "Into the Woods" by Stephen Sondheim at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-25 and March 1-3, and at 1:30 p.m. March 4 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

"Into the Woods" features common characters made popular by the Brothers Grimm, but in a much darker way. Cinderella, Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood live alongside witches and bakers, and unexpected plot twists create a brand new tale of hopes and fears. The story observes what happens after "happily ever after" and includes such memorable songs as "No One Is Alone" and "Children Will Listen."

The production is directed by F. Reed Brown, assistant professor of theatre. Dr. Mitra Sadeghpour, associate professor of music, is the music director.

Brown said he feels a connection with the musical because the issues of the characters coincide with where he is in his personal life.

"I feel fortunate to be directing this and saying exactly the kinds of things that I want to be talking about at this point in my life," Brown said. "The play, among other things, is finally about personal responsibility and universal obligation."

According to Brown, the characters' travels through the woods lead them through personal transformations that have promising results.

"Every person's journey into the woods is difficult and always unique; it is how they handle what they encounter and the decisions they make that may create a better person on the other side," Brown said.

Cast members for "Into the Woods" are junior Timothy Mattson, Brooklyn Park, Minn., as the narrator and mysterious man; senior Angela Batterman, Appleton, as Cinderella; sophomore Tyler Graf, Muskego, as Jack; senior Emily Klink, Baraboo, as Jack's mother; freshman Seth Hale, Antigo, as the baker; senior Jessica McIlquham, Chippewa Falls, as the baker's wife; senior Sarah Holmes, Bloomer, as Cinderella's stepmother; senior Stephanie Dietz, La Crosse, as Florinda; sophomore Tressa Harings, Minong, as Lucinda; senior Jacob Burgess, Wausau, as Cinderella's father; senior Marissa Aprill, Seymour, as Little Red Riding Hood; junior Marie Gustafson, Wausau, as the witch; senior Jennifer Sisko, Elkhorn, as Cinderella's mother, Granny, and the giant; senior Michael Renner, Waukesha, as the wolf; senior Abby Doering, Altoona, as Rapunzel; junior Nate Plummer, Chippewa Falls, as Rapunzel's prince; senior Evan Wilberg, Anoka, Minn., as Cinderella's prince; junior Jake Brockmann, Merrill, as the steward; junior Claire Kafka Duda, Rolla, Mo., as Milky White and Snow White; and sophomore Karilyn Sisko, Elkhorn, as Sleeping Beauty.

Junior Abbey Lowenstein, La Crosse, is the stage manager; Kevin D. Gawley, assistant professor of theatre, is the scenic and lighting designer; Amanda Profaizer, assistant professor of dance, is the costume designer; James Zwicky, assistant professor of the theatre, is the technical director; and Nobuyoshi Yasuda, associate professor of music, is the production's musical conductor.

Tickets, available at the Service Center, are $14 for the general public, $12 for those 62 and older and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff, $10 for those 17 and under, and $5 for UW-Eau Claire students with a student ID. For more ticket information, call the Service Center at 715-836-3727 or visit the Service Center website to order tickets online.

OJ/JP/JB/DW

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