Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 22, 2016


FAIRYTALES COME TO LIFE Clayton Marcum and Kenzie Hare as The Baker and The Baker’s Wife Kenzie Hare act alongside Emily Perkins, who is decked out as the witch.

Students Bring Stories to Life in ‘Into the Woods’

Stratton Smith

This past weekend, Manchester’s campus was filled with musical adventure and tremendous performances by the cast of the subversive fairytale musical “Into the Woods” directed by Kira Hawkins. The cast had extravagant and extensive costumes to convey that Cordier Auditorium was actually inside of the woods. “The set was really cool and creative,” said sophomore Jessica Beal. “It was interesting to see the stage that way.”

Musical and thespian talent radiated from the entire cast. “The main actors did a phenomenal job and kept me entertained throughout the whole play,” said Huntington University junior Alex Witzig, who had been in Huntington’s production of Into the Woods. “The Baker (Clayton Marcum) and the Baker’s Wife (Kenzie Hare) stole the show for me and were awesome for comic relief.”

Though the play was mostly performed by students, Kathy Hawkins, the mother-in-law of the talented director Kira Hawkins, bustled onto the stage and set a high standard for acting and enthusiasm. “I absolutely loved (Hawkins),” Witzig said. “Almost every line she had added something special to it that the audience liked, too.”

On stage, an abundance of classic fairytales combined in unexpected ways, bringing even more opportunity for characters to shine. One standout was the beautiful voice of Cinderella, or Addie Neher. “Addie played Cinderella really well,” said Beal. “She is super talented!”

Neher was joined by the story stylings of the narrator Jeremy Williams, the cruelty of the evil stepmother and sisters, Bailey Short, Maisie Stewart and Erin Fralick, along with an outstanding performance from the Witch, Emily Perkins. “I played the witch in Huntington’s performance, so it was amazing to see someone else portray the witch’s character,” Witzig said. “I may or may not have caught myself singing along throughout most of the play.”

One of the main characters, Jack (played by Jacob Archambault), captured the innocence and youthfulness of his character, as a duo of princes (Grant Ebert and Kevin Friermood) teamed up to bring romance and lots of comedy to the production. “I was laughing throughout the whole play, and not all casts of ‘Into the Woods’ can do that with their audience,” Witzig said. “Even though it seemed like the crowd (Saturday) wasn’t really as ‘into it’ as they could’ve been.”

The only problem that some of the audience members faced was the length of the play. “It was really long and I wasn’t really expecting that,” Beal said. “I had never seen Into the Woods before, so I guess I should have been prepared for a lengthy play, even though I did enjoy it.”

Witzig said: “I’ve seen the production a handful of times and they did really well on time. I’ve seen it go longer and drag on, and the director and cast did well at making sure that didn’t happen.” Her favorite performance came from the Wolf, Josh Dold. “He was great and I was excited to see him on stage every time,” she said.