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RSW Living Magazine

'Into the Woods' Cast Brings Energy, Passion This September to Sarasota

Jul 01, 2017 06:38PM ● By Kevin

Into the Woods collage. Photo courtesy of Rise Above Performing Arts.

In its second season in Sarasota, Rise Above Performing Arts is set to perform Into the Woods from Sept. 21 to 23, at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center.

The performance is directed by Jacob Ruscoe with music direction by Joi Chapman and choreography by Rachael Nicole Henry with Krista Baker serving as development coordinator and playwright Kevin Ray Johnson as the creative artistic advisor.

Broadway World Sarasota announced the principal cast in mid June, which includes:
  • Judah Woomert (A Christmas Story at Paper Mill Playhouse) as The Baker
  • Annika Trout (Baker's Wife)
  • Emily Mollin (Witch)
  • Alyssa Baker (Little Red)
  • Sarah Conte (Cinderella)
  • Taylor McConnell (Rapunzel)
  • Ryan Hunek (Jack)
  • Zach Thompson (Cinderella's Prince)
  • Owen Demaio (Rapunzel's Prince)
  • Mackenzie O'Connor (Wolf)
  • Addison Ruscoe (Mysterious Man)
  • Maddy Lostorto (Steward)
  • Bryn Dulitz (Cinderella's Stepmother)
  • Saige Cherryhomes (Florinda)
  • Abby Telinger (Lucinda)
  • Aubrey Solum (Jack's Mother)
  • Johanna Studebaker (Giant)
  • Brynn Patee (Milky White)
  • Caroline Russell and Haylie Smith as The Narrator
"We are extremely excited to be producing Into the Woods," Ruscoe said. "When we made our season announcement we literally had performers crying tears of joy over doing this show. Doing anything [Stephen] Sondheim is amazing and unbelievably challenging at the same time. We have an incredibly talented cast who are ready to exceed expectations."

Ruscoe is particularly excited for the community to see the energy and passion the performers will bring to this production. 

"Most of our cast came into the first rehearsal off book," he explained. "Also, we have a large cast who have an incredible synergy on stage."

According to the official synopsis of the play, "James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results."

The cast of 47 adds to the rapid growth of the organization. Ruscoe attributed the success to the support of the local community.

"[The community's support] will help our company's mission to educate and provide high quality arts experiences in new and innovative ways," he said.

Glenridge Performing Arts Center is located at 7333 Scotland Way in Sarasota. Tickets are $17 dollars at can purchased at the door, or at