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The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

Everything You Need to Know About “Into the Woods”

Our very own Mustang Theatre Company recently put on a beautiful musical production of Into the Woods. This show is impactful and thought-provoking, intertwining the plots of many fairy tales today’s generation grew up on. Characters like Cinderella (Hayden Lee), Little Red (Addy Shoup), Rapunzel (Aubrey Esparza), the Prince Charmings (Nathan Song & Marcus Deprat), and others are brought together, battling internal challenges that they face in the woods.

YLHS Theater’s “Into the Woods” cast onstage mid scene. (Jennalyn Urquico)

Originally, Into the Woods is a 1987 musical written and composed by Stephen Sondheim, based on James Lapine’s book. Over the years, the production has won multiple Tony awards and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. 

The story revolves around a baker (Quinn Oeppinger) and his wife (Katie Ruoo), desperate for a child to fill the void in their home. The old witch from Rapunzel (Leilah Huttner) promises that if the couple can bring her four items (a cow white as milk, a cape red as blood, hair yellow as corn, and a slipper pure as gold) she will magically grant them their wish and bless them with a healthy baby. With the help of other characters, they are determined to collect the items and make their wish a reality. 

However, the baker and his wife eventually feel forced to abandon their moral compass to capture the four ingredients, posing these questions: How far will individuals go and who will they hurt in order to make wishes come true? How will individuals’ actions affect their children and those around them? The entirety of the show leaves the audience in awe of not only the amazing performance but also the many real and raw feelings that come with being human and constantly realigning values based on life experiences and the actions of role models.

Katie Ruoo (right) Quinn Oeppinger (left) Addy Shoup (center) performing in the first act. (Onecutfilmco)

Katie Ruoo (11) who plays the baker’s wife states that at Yorba Linda High School, “The show took about 4 months to fully rehearse..” and “the cast [spent] about 30 hours per week due to the strong commitment and drive to make this show as amazing as it is!” The cast and crew put hours and hours before bringing this show to the stage on September 15th, 16th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. Whether it is memorizing lines, creating sets and props, or perfecting costumes and makeup, the amazing work ethic of the cast and crew is inarguable. Their months of hard work result in a beautiful and well-executed show that successfully connects each member of the audience.

In the second act, even after everyone’s wishes seem to be granted, there are still new issues between characters that arise: Cinderella is bored of her new royal life, the Baker and his wife have problems with their newborn, and the princes begin to lust after Snow White (Sophia Soliman) and Sleeping Beauty (Charlotte Schultz) when they realize their married lives are far from perfect. When the giant that came from Jack’s (Griffin Davis) magic beans begins to seek revenge on Jack and his family, the baker’s wife and Jack’s Mom are quickly murdered. The rest of the characters point fingers, looking for someone to blame for the chaos circling throughout the town. The dark, ominous woods become a symbol for temptation and selfish wishes that ultimately determine the characters’ fate. 

Into the Woods teaches its audience that actions, both good and bad, always have consequences. The show encourages people to not stray from their values, and as Katie Ruoo (11) articulates, “[it demonstrates] how dangerous the temptations of the woods can be.” Despite the hardships anyone may endure, Nathan Song (10) states that “At the end you find the right path.” 

At the end you find the right path.

— Nathan Song (10)

The audience is warned that the consequences of actions and wishes are much larger than they seem. Another significant moral is to think before you speak and act, because children listen, watch, and learn from you. 

As the show ends, the final lyrics are “Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell, children will listen…”

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About the Contributor
Isabelle Gregg
Isabelle Gregg, Photojournalist
Isabelle is a sophomore at Yorba Linda High School. This is her first year in Newspaper and she can’t wait to start writing! On campus, Isabelle stays involved, whether it be through ASB or YLHS’s track team. In her free time, she loves listening to music, reading, going to the beach, and watching new movies. Isabelle’s dream school is UCLA, but she would be happy attending college at almost any university in California! She hopes to work as a therapist/psychologist, or as a business owner in the future. She is so excited to learn and grow in Newspaper and continue making high school memories!

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    Leilah HuttnerDec 14, 2023 at 7:53 AM

    I loved this article! It explains how hard we all worked to put on Into the Woods and how much it paid off.