Tahiya Naoshin, Reporter

The FDR Theatre Company recently presented Into the Woods! It was fun from beginning to end, and the audience got to see just how talented every character was throughout the whole play. According to Mr. Meyers, our Director, “I have always wanted to do this play. It is a great play about over coming obstacles and perseverance. Into The Woods teaches people about their true selves.” While the play was incredible, Mr. Meyers said pre-production always has challenges, “As with any production, we have had our ups and downs. Just when we overcame one challenge, a new obstacle would pop-up. However, for our actors and production team, that is what it is all about. The school play is not only a way for students to highlight their talents, it is a opportunity for them to grow individually and as a group. It is a great feeling for everyone, to work so hard and make it to that opening night!”

The story begins with four fairy-tale stories- Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel. These are all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife. In this story, the baker and his wife wish to begin a family. However, due to the actions of the baker’s father, the witch put a curse on them to prevent them from having a child. In order to break the spell, they were suppose to bring four critical items to the witch: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold. They go on a quest into the woods to find those objects. Lying and stealing from Jack, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel to break the spell. In Act 2, the consequences of their actions return to haunt them with the arrival of a dangerous female giant. It takes lives and team work to survive this horrible nightmare, but they finally succeed. In the end, they learned that in life, there will always be problems coming and going, it’s up to you how you handle them. No matter what, there will always be people around that will help you.

The set and stage crew was assisted by Ulani Abdul-Saleem,  Cipattli Dominguez, Johnny Leung, Giovanni Matarrese, and David Solomonov who did a great job of setting up the props for the stage. The sound by Lu Li, Erin Harkins and Cipattli Dominguez made the noises sound real. The lighting was by Elis Huang, Iris Mellowes, Isai Tlamany and Celina Tlatelap. Everyone did an amazing job making the woods look and sound amazing!

The play is directed by Mr. Meyers, and he clearly knows a thing or two about directing a musical! Each actor, from the smallest role to the largest, has their moments and knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing. The choreography, created by Geofrey Goldberg of Roundabout Theatre, gave more than enough for each actor to perform it well, yet diverse enough to hold the audience’s attention. Ms. Novoa, the musical director, kept the orchestra in tune throughout the show. A big shout out to Mr. Goldschmidt (Tech Director), Amanda Porter (Stage Manager), Ms. Stallings (Vocal Director) and Mr. Poska (Producer / AP) for their huge contributions to the production!

A big round of applause to the cast members: Natalia Aliaga (Bird and Understudy of Cinderella), Amos Augustin (Mysterious Man), Tyrome Canady ( The Baker), Daynna Dacanay (Granny), Ashley De LA Rosa (Jack’s Mother), Sarina Jama (Sleeping Beauty), Skyler Johnson (Little Red Riding Hood), Saldsbila Lamisa ( The Giant), Sarah Leonardo (Witch), Neisha Luca (Rapunzel), Karina Martinaz (Florinda), Mamlakat Norimova (Milky-White), Olashubomi Ogunye (Steward), Allison Ovalle (Cinderella), Isabella Pereira (Bird and Snow White), Darnaldy Riboul (Cinderella’s Stepmother), Diana Rodas (Cinderella’s Mother), David Roman (Jack), Calvin Scott Jr. (Narrator), Marizelly Suares (Baker’s Wife), Joshua Suarez (Rapunzel’s Prince, Wolf), Christian Tapia (Cinderella’s Prince), and Aneesa Zaragoza (Lucinda). WHAT A SPECTACULAR PERFORMANCE YOU ALL DID!

I’ve seen plays done many times by teenagers, and this was one of my favorite productions! I found myself smiling, laughing throughout, and wanting to sing along to my favorite songs. Congratulations to Mr. Meyers and the FDR Theatre Company for an amazing production!