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BC Theater Dept. Ventures 'Into The Woods' for 30th Anniversary of Robsham Theater Arts Center

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (October 2011)  – The Boston College Theater Department will launch the 30th anniversary season of the University’s Robsham Theater Arts Center with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's celebrated musical Into the Woods, which runs October 26-30 on the Robsham Mainstage.  The production is directed by guest artist Paul Daigneault, producing artistic director of Boston's SpeakEasy Stage Company and the 2011-2012 Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J., Professor of Theater Arts at Boston College. 

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The Robsham Theater Arts Center officially opened on October 30, 1981, when then-President of Boston College, Rev. J. Donald Monan, S.J. (now University Chancellor) dedicated the building before the first production of Camelot.  To commemorate this anniversary and celebrate the rich performing arts tradition on campus since it opened, the Theater Department's annual musical, usually presented in the spring, has been shifted to the 30th anniversary weekend. 

The 2011-2012 season has been dedicated to two parties who have been essential to the building's success: Howard Enoch, director of the Robsham for the past three decades, and Mrs. Joyce Robsham and the late Mr. E. Paul Robsham, whose support of the performing arts and Boston College has been vital over the years. [The E. Paul Robsham, Jr. Theater Arts Center was dedicated in 1985 in honor of their son, a member of the BC Class of 1986 who died during the summer following his freshman year.]   

"We all get so busy," says Theater Department Chair Scott T. Cummings, "that we forget sometimes to stop, take a breath, and see just how far theater and the arts have come on this campus in the past thirty years. We still have unfulfilled needs and room for improvement, but we have accomplished much. I want this to be a year of celebration--for current students and alumni, for faculty and administrators, and everybody who appreciates the importance of the performing arts to the campus community."

Into The Woods, which earned Tony Awards for both its book and score in 1988, puts a contemporary twist on the Brothers Grimm’s most memorable fairy tales. "It's a cautionary tale," says director Daigneault, a 1987 BC alumnus. "It says, 'Be careful what you wish for,' but in an utterly delightful way." The plot follows the struggles of a child-less baker and his wife (Evan Murphy ’12 and Sarah Winglass ’14) as they try to reverse the curse of the evil witch next door (Allison Russell ’12).  And then there's the journey of Little Red Riding Hood (Kathryn Raskin ’15) to grandmother’s (Kasey Brown ’12) house, the effort of Cinderella (Samantha Goober ’15) to attend the Royal ball, and the curiosity of Jack (Jake Alexander ’14) to climb the beanstalk while on his way to the market to sell his beloved cow.

As these charming characters venture "into the woods," they cross paths, get mixed up, sing memorable songs that give voice to their hidden fears and secret desires, and then eventually discover that each of them holds something special that will help them complete their journeys. The New York Times hails the musical “brilliant” and the NY Post calls it “Bewitching…dazzling…[and] triumphant!”

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The full company of "Into the Woods" rehearses a musical number.


The cast also includes Tory Berner ’14, as Cinderella’s Mother; Cynthia Beckwith ’12, as Rapunzel; Andrew Babbit ’15, as Cinderella’s Prince; Cam Cronin ’12, as the Narrator; Maggie Maguire ’13, as Jack’s mother; Owen Grover ’12, as Rapunzel’s Prince and the Wolf; Aubrey Pringle ’12 and Julianne Quaas ’15, as Cinderella’s stepsisters; Sarah Goldstein ’13, as Cinderella’s stepmother; and Jake Hunzeker ’12, as Cinderella’s father.

José Delgado is the music director, David Connolly is the choreographer, and the creative team is rounded out by faculty designers Crystal Tiala (scenery and puppets), Jackie Dalley (costumes), Jeff Adelberg (lighting), and George Cooke (sound). 

Performances are Wednesday, October 26 through Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 30 at 2 p.m. To honor the 30th anniversary, Fr. Monan will be at the closing matinee performance to mark 30 years, to the day, of the theater’s inauguration.

Tickets for Into the Woods are $10 for students, seniors, BC faculty and staff. General admission is $15. All tickets are available through the Robsham Theater Arts Center Box Office by calling 617.552.4002 or by visiting www.bc.edu/theater.

 --Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs