APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Talented high school theatre students from Appleton East have been working diligently through the Fox Cities P.A.C. Center Stage Program and are excited to present its production of “Into the Woods,” debuting on November 3.

From seeing the likes of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood, all the way to the foes of the Wolf and the Witch, “Into the Woods” takes you on a journey of a baker and his wife who wish to begin a family, but a curse put on them has hindered plans.

Brenna Rades, who plays Cinderella, told Local 5 News that those attending the show can expect a lot of fun features.

“I love how this show features many different fairy tales all tied into one journey to create the common theme of ‘be careful what you wish for,'” stated Rades. “This show is able to show off so much talent throughout all of the intricately written music, and I am so excited to be a part of it and for everyone to see it come to life.”

Fellow cast member Minty Hahn echoed Rades’ feelings toward the production.

“Audience members should ‘Expect the unexpected, expect twists and turns; after all, the pathway into the woods is a winding one,'” said Hahn.

Appleton East says “Into the Woods” was chosen as the production because its students were ready for a challenge to help them gain new theatrical experience. For the musical, tackling Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” has given students the opportunity to really develop their musicianship and acting skills, given the challenging musical style and the heavier subject matter of the show.

  • Joey Thowless (Baker), Emily Gronert (Baker's Wife) and Raissa Kampel (Witch)
  • Ransom Webster (Rapunzel's Prince) and Max Mangold (Cinderella's Prince)
  • Raissa Kampel (Witch) and Kenzie Bartel (Rapunzel)
  • Emily Gronert (Baker's Wife), Raissa Kampel (Witch) and Joey Thowless (Baker)

While a difficult production to master, students say they’ve created plenty of core memories practicing “Into the Woods.”

“My favorite memories from the rehearsal process are always the rehearsal mistakes which lead to character development,” explained Ace Wells, crew member and cast member. “From funny miswordings to testing out big choices that just don’t land right, trying new things and messing up in rehearsal lets us find hidden gems that might end up on stage and make a special moment. The laughs and creativity we share in making that happen is an amazing feeling. It’s a side of theater the cast and crew only get to see, and I think that’s what makes it special.”

Being part of the Fox Cities P.A.C.’s Center Stage Program is a huge benefit to the students, something that officials are forever thankful for.

“Our Drama Club values theatre as a way for students to develop and foster a community and a safe place for students to explore their creativity,” said Appleton East High School’s Theatre Director. “Being part of Center Stage allows us another outlet to do that. It gives our students the chance to participate in workshops and events with students from other schools, which helps them broaden their worldview – a key purpose of practicing the arts.”

Opening night for Appleton East’s performance of “Into the Woods” is scheduled for November 3 at 7:00 p.m.

There will be five additional showings of the production, including November 4 at 7:00 p.m., November 5 at 2:00 p.m., and November 9 through 11, all at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, including tickets, you can visit the Appleton East Patriot Players website through the link provided.