With opening night just a week away, the cast of Operational Triple Threat’s production (OTT) Into the Woods are filled with anticipation and excitement to see their months of hard work pay off.
The award winning Broadway musical, is a modern classic complied with our fondest fairy tales such as Cinderella, Rapunzel and Red Riding Hood.
This intricately woven script will be brought to life on April 8th at the Frank Collymore Hall, by a cast aged 11-21 years.
Speaking to the media at the dress rehearsal yesterday, Melanie Jean-Baptiste who plays Cinderella, revealed that the cast of 28 persons were rehearsing 11 hours a day, with practice sometimes finishing at midnight.
She said it was merely another addition to the months of auditioning as they worked to master their roles.
Into the Woods will be the seventh OTT production within the past four years, displaying the excellent talent and skill of the island’s youngest performers.
Chad Montpleis, who has been a member for four years, explained that with each performance a higher quality was expected.
“I’ve been OTT for four years and the process is challenging [and] every year it gets more challenging because we do bigger shows so …the bigger and better the shows are, the higher standard we have to be to suit the . . . roles that we have,” said Montpleis who plays Jack.
The majority of the lead cast are students, who are passionate about theatre, dance, acting, and art. Ana Greenridge who plays the Witch revealed that the production helped to solidify her decision to have a career in Theatre Art.
“I’ve always been kind of debating whether to do theatre art or art as a profession, and Into the Woods has made me realise I want to do theatre art for the rest of my life. It’s not that I’m going to stop doing art, but this is really what I am passionate about,” said the 17-year-old.
The majority of the cast admitted that while production took place in a mythical world, it carried many attributes of life as they know it.
“There are so many stories and it just links back so much to your own life. Like for instance with the witch . . . typically people like to blame the witch and think that they are evil and bad and she’s actually not bad or evil. She’s just kind of the only person who has the truth and nobody wants to hear the truth and that happens a lot in life. You kind of don’t want to hear the truth but there comes a point in time where you have to face it,” said Greenidge.
This was reiterated by Jean-Baptiste who said, “I emphasized with Rapunzel …because she lived a life that is really sheltered and I know what it’s like to kind of be in a bubble and wanting to do more, wanting to see more and so I feel like her character and I guess what happens to her its …heart wrenching.
“It shows what it is like when you shelter children and you don’t give them the reasons why and then …all hell breaks loose,” he said.
Charlene Morris who has performed with the OTT for the past four years, described the experience as “mindblowing”.
Morris who first appeared on the stage for the 2012 Fame production, explained that the joining the theatre production company greatly assisted in her self-discovery.
“I was finding myself, what I wanted to be, who I was, what talents I had and I think that’s a good space for young people to be able to find themselves and find who they want to be. For me it was a journey and it still is journey and as time progresses it becomes a challenge, and I love a challenge,” said 21-year old linguistics student. (KK)