Posters for the upcoming high school musical “Into The Woods” have been placed around Prince Rupert, each depicting shadowy scenes of students acting in the surrounding forests. On Dec. 7, 8 and 9, the students of Charles Hays Secondary take centre stage once again.
Ahead of the opening curtain, director and drama teacher Alison O’Toole gave a behind-the-scenes preview.
“The kids were actually the ones who wanted to do this play,” O’Toole said. “Of course, a movie version came out a few years ago. It originally came out in the 80s so they wouldn’t have known it from there, but when the film came out that’s when they all fell in love with it. I like the movie myself, so I said OK. Why go against the grain if they’re keen to do it?”
The students will play a blend of well known fairytale characters, each with a wish. All are on their own quest, but once the wishes are granted not all will live happily ever after, O’Toole warns.
She said that the new music teacher at CHSS has stepped up to the challenging score.
“It’s really incredible how he’s taken the band to the point they’re at now. A lot of them are young students in the band. We often have a mix of community members and students, but this year there are only two community members and the rest are all students, and they’re sounding fantastic,” O’Toole said.
“This group is so dedicated. They’ve practiced and studied and really embraced it,” she said, adding that the key changes and quick tempo took a lot of work for the actors as well.
The textiles, construction and art students also had their hand in creating the stage and costumes.
“Everybody gets their jobs. It’s really eclectic. I think they’re more invested that way, they take really good care of the props and set when their blood, sweat and tears have gone into it. It’s been a really good process with this bunch,” O’Toole said.
Once the curtains part, O’Toole will be sitting in the audience watching the students’ hard work come together.
“They run the show,” she said. “I take them up to opening night and then it’s their baby.”