Theater department ventures ‘Into the Woods’

The University’s penchant for the works of Stephen Sondheim continues this year as the Theatre and Film Department mount their production of ‘Into the Woods’ this evening. The weekend run, which plays throughout this weekend in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre, will have 8 p.m. calls today and tomorrow as well as 2 p.m. matinees tomorrow and Sunday. The theatre department did not need to look far in their search for a director. David Sollish, a theatre and film Ph.D. candidate whose Master’s thesis was written about Sondheim, had already co-directed Sondheim’s ‘Company’ for the University last year. Sollish is also intimately familiar with ‘Into the Woods,’ having been involved in four prior productions, twice as an actor and twice as a director. Regarding this production, Sollish said that was as satisfying as any of the others. ‘The students are incredibly hard working, and the technical aspects of the production have been superb,’ Sollish said. Tommy Thurston, a senior musical theatre major playing the role of Jack, played the lead in last year’s production of ‘Company’ and has performed in 10 University productions. Thurston said ‘Into the Woods’ was among the most demanding plays he had encountered. ‘Into the Woods is the most challenging of Sondheim’s plays. The music is just really challenging, and the rhythms are more difficult than usual,’ Thurston said. The play, which features the intertwining of classic fairy-tale characters in a modern narrative, comes at a fitting time, with an atmosphere of change and social upheaval pervading much of the world right now.