After a decade of dramatic darkness, the stars sparkled once again on Georgetown High School's Thomas I. McInville Auditorium stage.
Teacher Allison McNutt showcased the talents of her drama club and volunteers to bring to life James Lapine’s twisted musical fairy tale, "Into the Woods" on May 10 and 11.
Music teacher Chris Miller welcomed the audience with a choral collection of a cappella songs performed onstage by a small group ensemble.
“It’s wonderful to have drama back in the building,” Miller said, turning the program over to director Allison McNutt.
“Thank you for loaning me your children,” began a tearful McNutt who has been building sets, gathering costumes and squeezing in rehearsal times since mid-February, “they make it all worthwhile. They are amazing and I don’t know if I would have had the guts to do this when I was sixteen,” the English/drama teacher shared before taking her position at the back of the room to run the lights.
The play began with sophomore Joshua Baker articulating the narration from his “Once Upon a Time” oversized storybook prop and ended with the Stephen Sondheim's score of “Ever After” sung by the lively company. Each character, from the reformed wicked witch (Serena Lance) to the hopelessly romantic princes (Zion Footman and Gabe Campbell) enlightened the crowd with the lessons they learned by contributing to the almost insurmountable quest required of the baker (Cinsere Greene) and his wife (Angela Delia).
As the well-intentioned couple tries to gather a milk-white cow (Luis Garcia), hair as yellow as corn, a blood-red cape and slipper of gold, they stumble into the well-known plots of Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella. Like the glitter-coated forest, castle and bakery, the singing and acting blended together to create a spirit of magical fun for the engaged audience --especially younger children.
“It was hard work, but we got it done,” said Zion Footman still in his elaborate prince costume afterward. “If there’s one next year, I will definitely be in it,” the sophomore said.
Junior Emma Mundy, who played Jack’s shrewish beanstalk-hating mother, described the process from audition to production.
“It was chaotic and fun. I’m really glad we all got to come together and do this play,” Mundy said.
Natalie McConnell played Cinderella and she said she is hopeful that the school will continue producing drama productions in the future.
“It feels good to have the arts back at Georgetown High School," McConnell said. "I hope we’re able to continue this next year.”
Sophomore Serena Lance, a co-star from their middle school days readily agreed. After casting aside her witchy nose and busy wand for the night, Lance declared her love of acting and discussed the role it will play in her future.
“I really want to go to NYU and pursue theater,” she said.
First-timer Caleb Lambert embraced his role as the evil wolf.
“I thought I was going to be nervous,” the freshman said. “But I wasn’t. This could be a career for me depending on where I am in four years.”
Impressed audience members encouraged the enthusiastic dramatis personae to continue sharing their talent. Sisters Debbie and Nancy Belusz attended both performances.
“It was a good play; it would be really awesome to continue seeing more performances in many years to come,” Nancy Belusz said.
Substitute teacher Sherry Sutton said she might have been biased, but she thought the show was "awesome."
GHS principal Craig Evans also commended the effort and energy put into the production.
“The students and teacher worked very hard and I am proud of them," Evans said. "We have a lot of talent at GHS. This is the first drama performance we've had in a very long time and I look forward to more.”
At the end of the evening away from the demands of the spotlight, a confident Joshua Baker closed his narrator’s story book and humbly shared his plans for pursuing his happily-ever-after.
“I would love to be involved in another play,” Baker said, “but acting is not the career choice. I ended up having higher priorities. I’m going into ministry.”