By Mallory Drover

The school musical Into the Woods, which played March 30th and 31st, seemed to be a success, except for one odd detail. The story reached its greatest climax, with the female giant pursuing the rag-tag group of characters from several different fairy tales when all of a sudden the play… stopped.With the final flourish of a full cast musical number, ‘Children Will Listen,’ the production came to an anticlimactic end, without resolution for the characters or plot.

“The ending was there, you just didn’t notice it if you weren’t looking for it,” said Jesse Bolt, lighting design/operator for the musical. “In the last song, they mentioned that they were all just gonna… leave.”

The original script for Into the Woods lasted two and a half hours, which is too long for a high school performance. Therefore, stage director Lance Petersen and musical director Mark Robison worked together to cut down the script into a shorter, condensed version. The Homer High version of the play lasted only one hour and forty-five minutes.

“Words cannot begin to describe what was cut out,” said sophomore Matthew Meyer, who played the steward for Rapunzel’s prince. “What actually happened [in the original ending] was that Jack killed the second giant.”

As well as an alternative ending, the new script also went so far as to cut out entire songs and characters. The original chorus ‘Into the Woods’ involved several different versions of the song, depending on the context. In order to make the process simpler however for the high school performers, one version of the song was chosen, and then sung multiple times. Not all of these changes were met with negativity, however.

“I’m glad the old man was cut out. He was too confusing,” Meyer continued. “He was supposed to be the baker’s father, but he didn’t make any sense.”

“The play is quite well made and I believe that every bit of it is there for a reason. However, there were certain parts of it that did not hurt the play in their absence,” said sophomore Owen Duffy, the narrator for Into the Woods. “For instance, there were a myriad of obstacles in the first act that were removed. The act progressed without them.”

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Characters most pertinent to the plot were kept, and the core theme of the play remained intact.“My favorite part of the musical was when we all came out to see the beanstalk,” said freshman Axel Gilliam, one of the chorus princes. “All of the cast showed awe of its size. When Jack sings ‘There Are Giants in the Sky’ all of us were stricken with fear.”

“I have very mixed feelings about the changes,” Duffy explained. “I know it wouldn’t have been possible to pull off the show that we did in the time that we had if we’d had all of the extra things from the original, but hey add a sizable amount of the story and the feel of it. [However,] I did enjoy some of our budding actors and actresses coming out of their shells and really making our show shine.”

 
Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, Mark Robinson couldn’t be reached for comment.

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