Tree House Youth Theatre is prepping for their final show of the season – the highly-acclaimed Into the Woods.
Shows run May 4th, 5th and 6th and 11th, 12th and 13th at the Scott Block with curtain at 7:30 p.m. There are also some matinee performances at 2 p.m.
Nicole Leal, artistic director for Tree House Youth Theatre, said this version of Into the Woods is a junior version, and features a condensed telling of the popular, magical musical story.
“A baker and his wife find out that they can’t have children,” she explains of the plot. A witch comes along and tells them of a potion that would help them, and directs them to the ingredients they would require for the potion.
“They set off into the forest to find all of these ingredients to make this potion. The witch can get what she wants – which is to be young again, and then in return she would break the curse and they could have a child.”
The play features a cast of 18, with the actors ranging in age from 12 to 17. With the production running in two blocks, the cast members also switch roles for the second week, allowing those with the smaller roles in the first week to tackle the larger roles the second time around.
As to Into the Woods, Leal said that she loves how the story brings a lot of familiar characters into the mix.
“There’s Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf – the baker and the baker’s wife, the witch — all those kinds of fun characters,” she said, adding that she really encouraged her young actors to really find their own interpretations of the iconic set of characters.
“They still have room to create that character for themselves – they aren’t stuck having to be a certain way,” she said. “There’s lots of flexibility for them to have fun with it and to really make it their own.”
Looking ahead, the troupe is also gearing up for the ‘Stuart Little Summer Camp 2017’ which runs July 17th to 28th, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join the gang for a fun-filled mini production with rehearsals running at the Scott Block where the production will be presented on our last day of camp. Campers will also have the chance to perform at both the Scott Block and on the stage at Bower Ponds during Prime Stock Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival.
Even further down the road, organizers are also planning at registration night in September for the 2017/18 season.
The winter season is open to all youth ages nine to 17 and there are two programs lined up – Program 1 for ages nine to 12 and Program 2 for ages 13 to 17.
Registration forms will be available here on the Tree House web site in August.
Meanwhile, Leal took over leadership of Tree House Youth Theatre last year. She is a talented actor in her own right, having completed theatre studies at Red Deer College back in 2013. She was featured in several shows, including The King is the King, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Peter Pan.
Tree House Youth Theatre was created in 1988 and was the brainchild of Richard O’Brien who was head of the Theatre Arts Program at Red Deer College. Tree House Productions ran during the College off-season using RDC theatre staff and students to support most elements of the production.
With the hiring of Matt Gould in 2005, Tree House entered a new era of exploration and creation, building a love of the theatre arts in the youth of Central Alberta. In 2009, Gould was instrumental in securing a rehearsal and performance space in the Scott Block downtown.
Meanwhile, to purchase tickets for Into the Woods, go to www.treehouseyouththeatre.ca.