When the teens of All the Daze Productions were asked what musical they wanted to do for their graduating year, they chose to venture into the woods…literally. Now, a multi-generational cast of 35 local actors will be bringing Into the Woods to the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. 

The story follows a baker and his wife, who are trying to find four fairy-tale laced items that will reverse the witch’s curse of them not being able to have a child. Along the way, the two encounter many characters from Brothers Grimm fairy tales, such as Jack, Little Red, and Cinderella, who have also gone into the woods to find their happily ever after. 

Partnering with Rob MacLeod’s Capitol Players and local theatre performers, this cast has been working and learning from one another in more ways than one. “The adults learn a lot from the youth because of their flexibility, spontaneity, and willingness to work hard,” says director Marcia Arpin. “While the youth watch these people who have been performing for decades and see their discipline, professionalism, and work ethic.”

One of those youth actors is 15-year-old Jayce Jerrard. He plays an unnamed prince, who is not the smartest or most charming prince in these woods, and says taking on the part was a challenging but exciting process. “Learning the songs for the first time, they’re pretty complicated,” he says. “But when you get everyone together and get it right, it’s super fun.” 

While those songs may be complex, Arpin says all her actors come together as a beautiful orchestra that carries the musical’s story. The success of this is largely due to this production’s ensemble focus. Maidens, princes, trees, frogs, and birds all work together to bring the woods to life.

“Because we have so many actors, it’s not just about the stereotypical leads at the forefront of the story. We have other little nuances and vignettes that are happening throughout the production as well, so it’s a fuller stage and fuller story.”

Into the Woods runs May 31 and June 1 at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. To purchase tickets, visit tbca.com. For more information about All the Daze Productions, visit allthedaze.ca.

Story by Taylor Onski, Photos by Dan Lloyd