By Jackson Kobylarcz ’21
For the past few months, members of the Drama Club, Production Crew, and Pit Band have dedicated countless hours of preparation for this year’s musical production Into the Woods. The show takes characters from classic childhood fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, and places them into a new narrative set in the world of the baker and his wife. The first act introduces the characters and weaves together their stories through songs and different encounters. However, in the second act, a giantess seeks revenge on all the fairy-tale characters for killing her husband, and from there, the tragedy unfolds. Livelihoods fall apart, main characters are killed, and everyone must fend for him or herself.
The Production Crew at Chaminade, led by Mr. Michael Bruno ’90, spent more than two months working on this show after school and on the weekends. The crew was responsible for designing and building sets, creating lighting cues, and preparing the stage for the action. Under the direction of Ms. Courtney Ross and Mr. Michael Adamovich ’08, the scenery team built Rapunzel’s tower, multiple pieces of foliage, and a rock facade. The most impressive piece of scenery was the various trees that were constructed, hand-painted, and hung from a new rigging system. Patrick Sanpietro ’19, co-president of the club and an actor in the show, explained, “I’m really proud of the work that the guys put into this production. The entire company did an amazing job, and I am proud to call this musical the last production of my Chaminade career.” The lighting crew, directed by Mr. Allan Sorensen, also spent close to a month developing a lighting design for the intricate scenes of the show.
This intricate story, complex staging, and challenging score gave the Darby Players and Pit Band a chance to showcase their talents after months of rigorous practice. Moderated by Mr. Bruno and Mrs. Nancy Dufek, the club began casting for the show before Christmas and rehearsals started before the new year. Once the show began to materialize on stage, Ms. Danielle Aliotta worked her magic, creating the choreography for the entire performance. The Pit Band also followed a demanding schedule to prepare for the musical. Pit Band moderator Mr. Brian Lewis lent his trademark flair in directing the band. The band rehearsed the music religiously, and Mr. Lewis regularly reminded them not to “be thrown off by a mistake, because if you are, it throws off the other actors and the crew too.” As always, the last performance was emotional for the seniors, but all of that energy was focused into putting on memorable and heartfelt show.
Throughout the entire production, a single word resonated through the whole company: “focus.” Every member of the cast, crew, and band took this guiding word to heart, and a series of exceptional performances resulted. Many people don’t realize that a show’s company becomes an extended family. The long hours and team spirit make the cast, crew, and musicians act as one cohesive unit, and there is always strength in unity. The Darby Players had a momentous run this year, and the club certainly has plenty of talent that will, no doubt, entertain audiences for years to come.