posted June 7, 2010

Sondheim’s Fairytale “Into the Woods” Opens HSRT’s 39th Season

The Hope Summer Repertory Theatre kicks off its 39th season with Into the Woodsby Stephen Sondheim, a twisted version of everyone's favorite childhood fairytales, opening June 18th at 8 p.m. at Hope College's DeWitt Theatre.

At long last the genius of Stephen Sondheim comes to our stage, in his most beloved work.  Drawing from the classic tales of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Ridinghood and Rapunzel, Sondheim's great music weaves their stories together in this intricate grown-up version.  While charming and funny, these familiar characters may answer your own questions about why your life doesn't seem to be as easy as a fairytale.  Actions have consequences and wishes may not be granted as expected, but each hero learns something valuable in the end.  This production is not recommended for children under 13.

Returning for his fifth season is Equity Guest Artist, David Studwell, playing the Narrator who winds the whole tale together and the Mysterious Man.  David has been seen in other HSRT roles such as James Leads in Children of a Lesser God, Father Flynn in Doubt, and Horton in Suessical.  He recently returned from India where he was featured in the upcoming Tamil language film Suzhal and has received two Santa Barbara Indy Awards for his work in Sweeney Todd and Boy Gets Girl, as well as three Joseph Jefferson nominations for his work in Chess, South Pacific (Emil), and Rothschilds

Here for her first season is Catherine Stephani, also an Equity Guest Artist, playing The Witch.  Cat attended Ithaca College, graduating with a B.F.A. in Acting in 2009.  Most recently, Cat just returned from four months at sea singing for the Norwegian Cruise Lines.  She was also honored with a S.A.L.T. award for Outstanding Actress of the Season for her work as Maureen in Rent at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York last summer.  Cat can also been seen this summer as Lala in The Last Night of Ballyhoo

Directing the production is HSRT favorite, David Colacci, who is returning for his twenty-fifth season with HSRT and nineteenth as Artistic Director.  Recent productions David has directed include Room Service, Kiss Me, Kate, Godspell, Seussical, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Oliver, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Shakespeare in Hollywood. Among the roles he has played are Charlie in The Foreigner, Morgan in The Drawer Boy, Mark in Art, Queeg in The Canine Mutiny Court Martial, Nicely in Guys and Dolls, Lenny in Rumors, Frank in Educating Rita, Billy in Billy Bishop Goes to War, and Oscar in The Odd Couple.  He has also won numerous awards as a narrator of audio books, including an Audie nomination this year for Philip Pan's Out of Mao's Shadow. David will also be staring in this season's I Do! I Do! with his wife Susan Ericksen. 

Performances continue throughout the summer on June 19, 24, 29, July 1, 7, 14, 16, 22, 27, and 31.  

Tickets are now on sale through the DeWitt and DeVos Fieldhouse ticket offices.  Prices range from $10-$26 for musicals and $8-$19 for plays.  Season tickets, ranging from $48-$85, are also available.  A Family Four Pack, including tickets for two adults and two children, is available this year for $55. 

The ticket office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Beginning June 14 the ticket office is open on Saturdays at noon. On performance dates, the DeWitt Ticket Office will be open through intermission.  The ticket office is located in DeWitt Cultural Center at 12th Street and Columbia Avenue. For tickets call the ticket office at 616-395-7890. For more information visit the HSRT website at 

The DeWitt Theatre is located at 141 East 12th street. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in Holland's downtown on 8th street.

HSRT is now on facebook!  Keep up to date with what's happening this season by searching Hope Summer Repertory Theatre on