Sunday, November 21, 2010

No One Is Alone

notes from the director
Into the Woods

High schools are wild and wonderful places.

North Shore is filled with energy and exploration. Whether in the classroom, the gym, or the theatre, teenagers are dynamos engaged in the rhythmic pulse of life. I always marvel at the spectacle of starting a theatre production at school. Auditions are exciting and stressful affairs, powered by the electricity of hope and determination. The buzz in the hallways minutes before we start rehearsal reflects the intensity of the teenage life: the strong will for greatness measured by the tense fear of failure.

What happens in our school reflects what happens in our homes, with adults and children. We all want to dare to be wonderful. But we're also afraid that our mistakes will keep us from happiness.

Which do we want more?

Do we want to be daring? To chase adventure and all the risks that come with it? Or do we want to be safe? To protect what we already have and try to avoid losing our most precious treasures?

Welcome to thrilling and terrifying woods of our lives.

Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist of Into the Woods, has left out no terror or joy in this piece. We'll watch the characters leave home, lose friends, make new friends, fall in love, fall out of love, and lose their parents.

It's heavy stuff. But we are comforted by the presence of many of our favorite characters: Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, the Big Bad Wolf, and Jack and the Beanstalk all walk the stage in this piece. The Baker and His Wife are also here, although we don't celebrate their story too much anymore. Look carefully in our production and you'll see the playful Three Little Pigs, the careless Hansel and Gretel, the graceful Little Bo Peep, and the brave Woodsman.

And the Giant is going to knock your socks off.

So will these kids. They're working for themselves, these actors and musicians and crew members, but they are also working for you. Enjoy them. And, if you can, listen to what they say.

They'll tell you that we must be careful what we teach our children. That being nice and being good are not the same thing. That being brave sometimes requires being vulnerable. That saying hello to new experiences requires us to say goodbye to old experiences.

And they'll tell you that no one is alone.

Welcome to another wonderful season of North Shore Masquers' theatre! We're delighted to begin our Year of the Family with one of the greatest theatrical works of the 20th Century, Into the Woods.

We dedicate this piece to the children who became our parents. May we remember that they were kids who braved the woods of their own lives. They might leave us, but they are always here.


  1. Wow! You certainly have a way of saying without saying is all I'm sayin'. Got it. I hope everyone else who sees the show gets it, too. Break a leg.

  2. Was lucky enough to see this production. Really enjoyed seeing this story told by students half of my age. Although I didn't know the piece, it seems that there is something special about seeing teenagers perform songs about the relationship between kids and parents—when clearly, they are normally performed by adults. Great notes here.

  3. Well said Mike. Into the Woods is one of my favorites.