We were able to get all the structures onto the stage and all painting finished in one week. A miracle! Mostly to the hard work of my friend John Hatch and the Tech Class. They all worked hard to pull off the impossible.
The step family started out beautiful - Kardashian-like and through out the show went through plastic surgery and became uglier... so that we could see their true hearts. We started with bigger lips and new eyebrows and ended with bigger breasts and bigger butts. I loved that one of the girls came up with using a live dog. It really did add to the idea that we love some things more than family... an odd theme of this little family.
The two Princes were "American" royalty, i.e. celebrities and movie stars. Hello. All a person needs to do is turn on the news to see what start left their old partner for a new one. It makes sense. The Steward was a body guard... ear piece and sunglasses and all. My favorite moment for those guys was when I posed them walking across the "cross walk" like the Beatles in the opening scene.
The wolf was a pimp. While I was working on the scene one day it dawned on me that he would come off more "wolf-like" (like the movies i.e. Twilight, shirtless. Boy did it get a different reaction out of Little Red. It was jut what the scene needed.
The Narrator was one of those street performers and the Mysterious Man was a homeless guy.
The birds were a street gang of homeless kids, "Angry Birds".
The pigs were policemen and the wolf chasing them was a gangster.
Granny was a cross dresser. He volunteered at first... then he saw his costumes. It took learning how to do drag queen make up for him to really embrace his character.
We used a few bells and whistles too. The Witch disappeared into the floor. We used two fog machines to hide all the transformations. We used a confetti cannon to simulate the leaves falling was the Giant stomped around.
I tried to get help with light design. No takers. I designed them myself. We ended up with nearly 200 cues and I used all our smart lights, strobes and gobos.
I also got to work with so many great kids with this show. I really learned to love them... even if they got on my nerves some times. These really are great kids. The actors were the most dependable, for the most part. The tech kids in the class were a little less reliable. It was hard to get them to take rehearsals seriously. We had to bring in extra kids for the sound board and the follow spot and to work back stage. In fact, the most reliable tech kids were those extra kids. Sure love those guys!
But my favorite person to work with has got to be my friend Jeff. I believe we compliment each other perfectly. He says that I directed most of the show, but I disagree. He handled all the music, including how to sing it, the costumes, the publicity and all the polishing. All I did was the set, lights, sound, blocking and note taking... oh and keeping him organized. I love working with him and hope to work with him for many, many more productions!
High school in only one part of the journey.
"Into the woods
the choice is made,
the task is set.
Into the woods,
but not forgetting
why you're on the journey"
Life is a journey. We all do better when we learn from the choices we make, without regret. When we move forward, remembering that we are here to learn, the journey is better.
Personally, I do not regret one choice made in this production.
A life lesson often missed in the show is that parents really do know something and we would have been safer if we listened to their counsel and experience.
Not to delay
or be misled."
Imagine the heart ache we could avoid if we all listened to the advice of a wiser and caring parent. Poor Little Red caved to the temptation of a hot wolf. What she learned was valuable, but could have been learned later. Like Little Red we all learn something when we cave to temptation. The lessons we learn could have been learned so much easier if we had only listened and learned for someone wiser... just believed what they had to say. We could have saved ourselves so much heart ache. Alas. Caving to temptation always leads to a path a bit scarier than we are ready to admit.
"Down a dark slimy path
Where lie secrets that I never want to know,
And when everything familiar
Seemed to disappear forever,
So we wait in the dark
Until someone sets us free,
And we're brought into the light,
And we're back at the start..."
In my world, I'd call that repentance... that process that brings us back to the Light of Christ after we have strayed from Him with bad choices. But Why? Why do we stray in the first place?
"Sometimes the things you most wish for
Are not to be touched..."
Then there are those tiny little decisions we make; those tiny lies we make in order to get the greater good... or is it? I am learning in my life that most compromises are not for the greater good. They are out of selfishness. Lies, no matter what the size, always bite you in the end.
Truthfully, does anything every really "justify" our choices (or the beans).
Every choice we make effects someone else... even if we don't think so... even it it takes years and years to see that it did effect someone.
I also think that one of the greatest lessons of the show is "misplaced expectations". Why do we as humans often look for something better? Why do we always think "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?" A great example is the divided response to how the this show came about... how some of the kids missed the joy in this show because the old show was a better show. Both shows are great shows. When some of them focused on the old they missed the greatness of the current!
As a parent I always want to "make" my kids "listen".
Why don't they "stay a child while you can be a child"?
Why do they have to grow up and be teens... with opinions? LOL
I know. I was a teen once too. I had my own opinions. I did my share of putting my parents through hell. But still...
It's hard to feel judged for all your parental mistakes -
"people make mistakes,
holding to their own,
But we all learn from our mistakes... even parents.
The point of a good parenting is to guide, to teach, to reach, to share.
"Look, tell him the story
of how it all happened.
Be father and mother,
you'll know what to do...
hold him to the light..."
A lack of light leads to a lack of hope. A parent must teach their children to love the light... to have hope... real hope.
"Do not let it grieve you,
No one leaves for good."
It's those intentions that get you... "I never thought" seems to be the issue.
Do we ever full think through what we say or do?
I think we run from the pain of loss the most. The Witch did. Mysterious Man did. Maybe it's because we are more afraid for our children more than they are afraid for themselves. Maybe. But,
"the further you run,
the more you feel undefined...
We leave a mess,
We die but we don't...
In turn, I guess.
Forget, though, we won't."
Even parents need to learn from their mistakes.
When it comes down to it, the choice is yours!
"You decide what's good."
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
children will see
They are learning more than they let on. They are more like us than they, or we, care to admit. They are seeing. They are doing. They are listening... even when it seems they are not.
But children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
to learn what to be.
Careful before you say,
'Listen to me'
Children will listen."
What must we teach them?
"Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see..."
Teach them that all of their actions influence people, whether for good or bad. The consequences of their choices can be long lasting.
"You can't just act,
You have to listen.
You can't just act,
you have to think."
True on stage, but mostly true in life. We are creature created to act not to be acted upon. So choose well. Do good.
Teach them to take life one step at a time.
"But not too fast
Or what you wish
You lose at last."
"Mind the past."... to remember and learn from those that came before.
Teach them to
"Mind the future"... and to make choices that they can live with later.
"Into the woods, but not to stray.".. to stay on coarse until they reach the journey end.
Teach them to
"... see a glimmer." There is always light. There is always hope.
Teach them that although we "grope" we can "cope" because of the "hope."
"there's more to learn."
"No is alone."
We are all in this together... as we journey to "the festival."