Youth theater company to perform ‘Into the Woods’ |

Youth theater company to perform ‘Into the Woods’

This Friday and Saturday, 40 local actors between the ages of 7 and 16 will perform in the Truckee Tahoe Youth Theater’s production of “Into the Woods Junior.” The musical, a Broadway Junior version of the Tony-award winning musical by Stephen Sondheim, features a cast of fairy tale characters in an enchanted forest.

“It’s one of the most technically advanced musicals that TTYT has ever tried to do,” said Director Jim Sturtevant. “It’s a very demanding show both vocally and acting-wise. It’s one of the largest sets we’ve ever had – we’re very excited about using that – with many special effects. It should be a lot of fun.”

Friday’s performance will begin at 7 p.m., while Saturday will feature two shows: a matinee at 2 p.m. followed by another performance at 7 p.m. All shows will take place in the Truckee High School auditorium, and according to Sturtevant, they will all be family friendly productions, with “great music, great dancing and funny twists to familiar fairy tales.”

Original music from the award-winning play will be featured along with an elaborate set and a number of special effects. “Staging it has been very challenging,” according to Sturtevant. “We are using a six-foot bridge, Rapunzel’s tower is way up off the ground, and also Cinderella’s tree… so there are a lot of really neat special effects for the kids. And it’s also a great learning experience for the cast involved because they get to learn how we do all this special magic stuff.”

Truckee High School student Jenni Ward, 14, is one of those who’s learning a lot during the production. As the assistant director as well as an actor, Ward has found she has had to be on top of almost everything.

Probably the most difficult thing for Ward has been “trying to connect with the other actors as a peer and as a director. It’s been really hard having friends in the cast and trying to tell them what to do, because you don’t want them to get mad at you. … Probably the hardest part is just keeping a balance,” Ward said.

Making Ward’s job even more difficult has been the flu-bug that has been going around town lately. “About half of our cast is sick, so I have to play a bunch of characters right now,” Ward said.

Despite the difficulty, Ward is confident the cast will be ready in time for Friday’s opening night.

Sturtevant said his actors and stage crew will be ready as well. “We’ve had a wonderful response from the community and we’re very excited about that. Tickets are selling briskly, so we’re encouraging everyone to buy their tickets ahead of time,” he said.

Tickets can be purchased at Porter’s Ski and Sport in Truckee and Tahoe City, at Four Seasons Florist in Truckee, at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Kings Beach, or by calling (530) 582-4898. Prices are $8 for adults and $5 for all children 18 and under. All tickets left unsold at the outlets will be available at the door on the day of the show.

TTYT is a local children’s theater group that has been in existence since 1994 and an official non-profit organization since 1999. “Into the Woods Junior” is the group’s eighth production in five years.

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