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updated: 7/13/2011 3:31 PM

D300 going 'Into the Woods'

District 300 students going

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  • Cinderella, played by Abbey Bjork, sings as an ensemble of characters dance onstage during the D300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into the Woods, Junior" at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. She is a Dundee-Crown High School student.

       Cinderella, played by Abbey Bjork, sings as an ensemble of characters dance onstage during the D300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into the Woods, Junior" at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. She is a Dundee-Crown High School student.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Allison Wellnitz, above, plays the part of the witch in "Into the Woods, Junior," which will open Friday at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. Wellnitz is a Jacobs High School student. Below, Danielle Klein, playing the part of Little Red, runs through the woods and out of reach of the baker and his wife, played by Michael Wade and Alissa Teade, during the District 300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into the Woods, Junior." Klein is a student at Westfield Community School and Wade and Teade are Jacobs students.

      Allison Wellnitz, above, plays the part of the witch in "Into the Woods, Junior," which will open Friday at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. Wellnitz is a Jacobs High School student. Below, Danielle Klein, playing the part of Little Red, runs through the woods and out of reach of the baker and his wife, played by Michael Wade and Alissa Teade, during the District 300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into the Woods, Junior." Klein is a student at Westfield Community School and Wade and Teade are Jacobs students.

  • Jack's mother pinches his ear during the District 300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into The Woods, Junior" at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. Jack is played by Alex Boehm and his mother is played by Sydney Wellnitz. They are both Jacobs students. The show opens Saturday, July 16.

       Jack's mother pinches his ear during the District 300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into The Woods, Junior" at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. Jack is played by Alex Boehm and his mother is played by Sydney Wellnitz. They are both Jacobs students. The show opens Saturday, July 16.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Danielle Klein, playing the part of Little Red, runs through the woods and out of reach of the baker and his wife, played by Michael Wade and Alissa Teade, during the District 300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into the Woods, Junior" at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. Danielle is a student at Westfield Community School and Wade and Teade are Jacobs students.

       Danielle Klein, playing the part of Little Red, runs through the woods and out of reach of the baker and his wife, played by Michael Wade and Alissa Teade, during the District 300 Foundation rehearsal of "Into the Woods, Junior" at Jacobs High School in Algonquin. Danielle is a student at Westfield Community School and Wade and Teade are Jacobs students.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 

For the past 10 years, Stephen Fodor has been trying to produce "Into the Woods, Junior." This year, the eighth-grade teacher at Westfield Community School wasn't taking no for an answer.

Fodor will produce "Into the Woods, Junior" for the second annual District 300 Foundation Presents Summer Musical.

"Every time I have presented it, there has been a reason why we can't do it," Fodor said. "This year, there weren't enough people saying no."

Fodor knows the musical is challenging, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and based on a book by James Lapine. But Fodor is confident students can handle the catchy tunes and intertwined storylines involving familiar fairy tales.

Fodor is working with choreographer Jessica Cano, a teacher at Golfview Elementary School; Director Matthew Silar, a District 300 alumnus; and musical Director Kimberly Sass, a music teacher at Hampshire Elementary School.

"Sondheim, when he wrote music, it was very challenging," Fodor said. "The pace and the comic timing is also more difficult than a lot of the musicals for this age group."

The cast and crew includes 60 students from each of the district's middle and high schools. This is the first year the foundation has included students from all middle and high schools.

"Everybody who experiences this show enjoys the music," Fodor said. "The music gets stuck in your head. It is catchy and beautiful."

"Into the Woods, Junior" is a fairy tale in which all of the classic Brothers Grimm characters live in a village where they meet and interact on their journeys. The audience learns why Jack sold his cow to buy the magic beans and what made Cinderella's stepmom mad at her, among other stories.

"It's a different view, a different take on the same old stories," Fodor said. "The term that's being used is a reboot."

Last year, the foundation presented "Willy Wonka."

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