This weekend, Goshen College’s theater program will open the spring mainstage musical: Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” The last time the show was done at GC was in 2003.

Every single person involved has put in so much work to make this play the beautiful thing it is.

— Fatima Rhana

The show reconsiders who really deserves the title of hero or villain in a fairy tale while involving storylines from “Cinderella,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Rapunzel.” 

Director Amy Budd described it as being primarily a story about “the importance of caring for your neighbors.”

The actors began rehearsals in January to prepare for opening night. 

Fatima Rhana, a sophomore music and theater double major playing the part of The Witch, explained some of the triumphs that this show has entailed for her. 

Rhana shared that she is “so excited to show our incredible work. Every single person involved has put in so much work to make this play the beautiful thing it is.” 

Budd echoed these sentiments, saying, “The actors sing beautifully and have all grown in their artistry through this process.”

She added that “the collaborative process here at GC is always filled with joy and delight.”

Though the show is  ready to be presented, there have been plenty of challenges along the way. According to Budd, the “difficulty of the music itself” was a significant roadblock, as well as “the script’s requirement to move varied groups of actors on and off the stage constantly.”

Rhana also weighed in on some of the challenges the show presents, agreeing with Budd that “coordinating this many people for such a large project is always difficult.” 

She has also invested a high level of personal time and effort, saying, “I built the set and acted as one of the leads in the show.” 

The cast features students of all different majors and roles beyond those that are seen under the stage lights. 

This show includes a design team and a live pit orchestra directed by Scott Hochstetler and made up of students from the music department.

Hannah Lehman, a junior music education major who is playing the synthesizer in the pit orchestra, said: “It’s been a cool process to put the music together. I started working on the music together and then with other members of the pit.

“This week, the pit has been working with the people in the show as they act,” she added. “It has been fun to see it all come together.”

The show opens on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Umble Center, with a show following on Saturday, March 25 at the same time. 

There will be a Sunday matinee performance on March 26 at 2:30 p.m. 

The following weekend also has shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 2.

Tickets are available through the GC Box Office by phone or online, but are free for GC students and employees. 

Due to adult situations in the show, “Into the Woods” is recommended for children ages 13 and up.