The Queen’s Court Gives Fairy Tales a Modern Twist in “Into the Woods”

By Morgan Kogan, Staff Writer

The Queen’s Court Company and Crowning Crew showcased their talents as well as their perseverance and positivity when they performed Into the Woods from March 16-18 at the Jersey Shore Arts Center despite facing many challenges leading up to opening night.

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Junior Diana R. braids senior Joanna F.’s hair backstage on opening night of “Into the Woods”  on Mar. 16. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Whelan)

Through convincing acting, intricate sets, detailed costumes and exciting music, jun his wife and their quest to have a child through each of the tales.

Similar to the Baker and his wife, the Queen’s Court faced multiple challenges as they prepared the musical. For starters, the play itself is the longest one the company has staged with more musical numbers, requiring more individual and collective practice than prior shows. Secondly, because the show is not performed at Trinity Hall, the actors and stage crew had to estimate the stage size when rehearsing and building the set. When the production finally moved to the theater, they discovered the stage was not as large as they had predicted.

“The stage was quite small compared to the number of people in the show in addition to the set. The backstage was also very limiting, and while members of the cast faced their own frustrations, everybody remained positive and we were able to work around the complications and perform a wonderful show,” sophomore Aoife Picadio said.

Ultimately, each cast and crew member persevered throughout every rehearsal and  encouraged each other. Like Cinderella and the Baker sing in Into the Woods, no one was alone during the process.

The seniors were especially determined to make this, their last show at Trinity Hall, a success despite the challenges they faced, and in the end they were proud of the final production.

Into the Woods was the perfect show to perform this year because as a senior it was the ending of my story in the Queen’s Court Company, but for some of the girls it was only the beginning of theirs,” senior Joanna Ferrer said.

Underclassmen looked to the upperclassmen for guidance and inspiration, both on stage and behind the scenes, and will not forget their influences. The Trinity Hall seniors involved in this year’s production included: Jacqueline Munro (Baker’s Wife), Hailey Hartnett (Stepmother), Courtney Vadon (Lucinda), C.C. Jakub (Snow White), Dana Yarem (Ensemble), Alex Principe (Set Designer), Dorothea Wotton (Pit Band), and Haley Cesario and Isabelle Grimes (Stage Crew and Tech Team).

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Senior Jacqueline M., who plays the Baker’s Wife, sings “Moments in the Woods” by Stephen Sondheim at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove on May 17. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Whelan)

“The seniors all put their heart and soul into this, and you could tell they were really proud of it. Because they were so involved in it, everyone else wanted to be involved in it,” freshman Faith King said.

In addition to the strong acting and singing, a highlight of this year’s production were the transforming dresses that were sewn by students. Under the guidance of faculty members Melissa Whelan and Samantha Puma, junior Niyah Robinson created the dress worn by junior Allie Witek, who played the Witch, and sophomore Patti Frees made the dress worn by sophomore Annabelle Kaeli, who played Cinderella.

The Pit Band also impressed audiences with their musical talents. Together with musical director Andrew Bogdan, one senior (Wotton), four freshmen (Morgan Kogan, Katie Lasko, Kathleen Lee, Mary Rosivack) and one additional faculty member (Mike Kabash) provided all of the music for the lengthy production.

With a committed cast and crew, Into The Woods proved to be a success. “I was thrilled how it turned out,” director Ellen Phillips said. “Especially in light of the fact that our tech week was so challenging, we really came together and pulled off a wonderful production.”

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