Five graduates of the kids and teens program of South Coast Repertory’s Theatre Conservatory will appear in the Summer Players production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” Aug. 6-7 and 13-14 on the Julianne Argyros Stage.
The returning grads – all college students on summer break – are Chase Anderson-Shaw (USC sophomore/theatre major), Brianna Beach (UC San Diego sophomore/theatre major), Jordan Bellow (Chapman sophomore/ BFA in theatre performance), Akshay Sharma (Harvard freshman), and Rachel Teague (Orange Coast College freshman).
“Into the Woods” is directed by SCR Theatre Conservatory Director Hisa Takakuwa, with musical direction by Erin McNally.
Summer Players are students in the SCR’s Kids and Teen Acting Program who have been chosen by audition after at least one year in the Theatre Conservatory. According to Takakuwa, “For the first time, we opened our Summer Players casting pool to include recent graduates. This allowed us to choose ‘Into the Woods,’ which requires more mature and experienced performers, who will raise the level for the younger actors in the show.”
As rehearsals began, Takakuwa added, “It’s wonderful to see how these grads are passing on what they’ve learned. Because SCR has helped shape and support them, they’re eager to give back and share their experiences and joy with others.”
While most fairytales begin “once upon a time” and end “happily ever after,” that’s not the case with this Tony Award-winning musical. After their dreams seem to come true, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and a bevy of fairytale characters—plus a few new ones created to add to the chaos—return to the woods for a reality check. The Summer Players journey into this fantastical world where traditional fairy-tale characters take on fractured new lives and teach important lessons.
Showtimes are 1 and 5 p.m. each day, Aug. 6, 7, 13 and 14. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at www.scr.org.