Life in the Woods

Brittany Proctor – StepMother

“Once upon a time”

We all grew up hearing these four words at the beginning of every fairy tale. The tales of giants, witches, spells, and a beautiful princess locked in a tower hidden in the woods. The musical Into the Woods has shared with me the hidden secrets from these fairytales. Each story has a lesson to be learned and each lesson has either a happily ever after or… just an ever after.  The lessons in the show are hidden in plain sight within the music, which is why you must not stray from the path, be careful what you wish for, and listen very carefully – or you just might find yourself lost in the woods.  Sondheim combines these tales in a way that reflects the realities of life, and he does this by showing how life isn’t a fairytale.  Yet somehow, we as humans want to escape from the responsibilities of life.

I absolutely love the beginning of the play when all the characters say, “I wish”.  It’s a few simple words, but they can have a powerful effect on somebody, good or bad.  As a young college student, I find myself saying, “I wish” a lot, and so do many others who wish for a miracle in their lives.  It’s so creative how Sondheim shows the way of life through a harsh fairytale.  Since I play the stepmother, I always think of why she is so cruel to her stepdaughter, and shows no care for anyone but for herself.  Maybe she is self-conscious of her appearance or personality.  It’s hard to play someone who is the opposite of you and yet can share similar feelings.  I was told by someone that to play your character you should share the emotions that your character expresses.

I never expected to be a part of such a great production in my life.  I saw a glimmer in the woods when I was selected to be in the show, and maybe this glimmer will guide me to a new path that leads to the end of the woods.  But into the woods we go again; we have to every now and then.  Into the woods to find there’s hope of getting through the journey… to find joy, to find sorrow, and to find a happily ever after.

Will you follow the glimmer and stray from the path?

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