I’m brimming with hope and anticipation about opening in a musical, a rarity for Juilliard.
Hope because I have come such a long way in my “singing” journey and I feel so grateful to have come to this production at Juilliard. It's also my hope that the ongoing technical dress rehearsal process will continue to be a meaningful learning experience for me and for all the people (cast, crew, and artistic team included) who comprise Into the Woods.
Things to look out for:
- Mikiko Suzuki McAdams’ set design: Mikiko’s set design was inspired by artist Kara Walker’s interplay of shadows. In my interview with our director, Sarna Lapine for the Juilliard Journal, Sarna mentioned that she really loved the darkness of Into the Woods and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They wanted the set to evoke that darkness.
- Valérie Thérèse Bart’s costume design: Since Mikiko’s set design is mostly dark, Valérie (costume designer) took it upon herself to be responsible for bringing the colors into the world of the play. Many of the costumes that audiences will see in this production is a departure from the original production in 1987.
- Alan Edwards’ lighting design: Alan is also doing a beautiful job “painting” the set with color with his nuanced lighting design.
- Jane Shaw’s sound design: Jane Shaw’s sound design is wicked. I can’t think of any other word to describe it.
- The orchestra: Well, it’s not really a full-fledged orchestra, but we have an amazing group of five Juilliard musicians, led by our music director, Fred Lassen, who provide the music for the production.
- Witch-trap moments and other theater magic: There has been a lot of amazing theater magic that comprise a number of moments throughout the play. When I am not in a scene I observe the other scenes and have seen some really cool stuff that I am very careful not to spoil for anyone reading this post!
- The cast: I am so grateful to share one of my fourth-year productions with my colleagues in Into the Woods. They are one of the most talented and hard-working people I have known so far and I hope to continue to work with more hard-working and talented people in my life and career. I truly have enjoyed observing my colleagues’ work and growth in this process.
As I write this post, we are going into tech for the last part of Act II, and then we will proceed with our first dress rehearsal (with costumes and all!). One of the great learning moments that I continue to have in this project is to be able to observe how our director and assistant director, Sarna Lapine and Whitney Brandt, communicate with each other, the actors and actresses, as well as the crew and other members of the artistic team. They have been great examples of strong women who are very specific in the language that they use to communicate, even in moments that may cause a lot of stress, and in turn, get the important work done without being mean. I hope to emulate them in my work and in my communications with other people.
Regina De Vera
Quezon City, Philippines