The actors, above, and the band below, practicing at the Conexus Convention Centre for “Into the Woods.”

‘Into the Woods’ coming up this weekend

November 6, 2017 1:59 pm
Kara Kinna

Tickets still available for all four performances

Creative Vision’s fourth production—Into the Woods—will be performed this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the excitement in the final week leading up to the play is ramping up among the cast and the crew.

There are still tickets available for all four performances—Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday afternoon, and Sunday night—and both Sherri Meredith and Sandra Poole, the two producers of the show, say the production will be well worth attending.

“It is always exciting to see what people do,” says Sandra. “The costume people are doing amazing things again and the set design people are making really cool things. And Sherri has these ideas and they come to fruition with the people who work with her. If we want somebody to fly off the stage, they are going to make that work,” she says.

“This show has a lot more special effects than others we’ve done,” adds Sherri.

Setup in the Conexus Convention Centre began on Friday, and Creative Vision will have all week to hold various rehearsals and put the final touches on bringing the entire production together.

“Throughout the week we are going to have some pretty late nights,” says Sherri. “We don’t want to tire anyone out, but there’s a lot to do between now and next weekend to get it to fit into the new space.

“The excitement is coming. We had a costume parade on Monday and everyone was just giddy. Adults are just like kids.”

“You put costumes on them and they are just giddy and it’s hard to focus. It’s another component that’s so exciting,” adds Sandra.

“We’ve brought the band in the last three weeks too. That’s so exciting, when you hear the songs with the full band, not just with the piano,” says Sherri.

“All the community people who do the desserts and have stepped forward again and again, it just never ceases to amaze me how many people pitch in to make this a reality.”

“Angela Thorn is heading up our costume and makeup and she has been living and dreaming about what she is going to do. She’s made Rapunzel’s wig I don’t know how many times,” adds Sandra with a laugh.

“It’s just so much fun. Everyone is so excited. Somebody went down to the basement Monday and all five ladies (in the costume department) had their sewing machines going and somebody said ‘oh it just looks like a sweat shop in here’ but they said ‘oh we just love visiting together and making, creating.’

“It’s just so much fun to see all of the arts come together and everybody having fun.
“Everything comes together (in the last week) and everything starts to look good and sound good.”

All of the actors in the show are double cast over the four nights, so people will get a chance to see everyone in the cast.

“We have found a way that everyone can be in every show,” says Sherri. “No matter what night you’ll see, you’ll see the entire company. Some people are in a main role or a secondary role for that night, and the next night it swaps.

“It’s been great that we can get everybody up there because they’ve all worked so terribly hard and know all the music and it sounds so good together.”

“I’ve started crying already,” says Sandra. “Things are starting to come, and instead of just reciting their songs and lines, they are starting to add meaning to them. It’s already exciting just to see that little bit of transformation, then you add the costumes, and that’s cool. Next the sets and lights, and you are like ‘okay this is great!’

Both Sandra and Sherri say the storyline of “Into the Woods” is one that everyone will enjoy.

“It’s a wonderful story,” says Sandra. “We have the three pieces—Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstock, and Rapunzel with the baker and his wife who can’t have children because the baker has stolen beans from the witch. In comes little Red Riding Hood.

“So there’s all of the childhood stories we all know and love that we grew up with, and they all meet each other in the woods. And at the end of act one everything is perfect. And then act two begins and there are a lot of surprises.”

“And although it seems like it’s a children’s story, it has a real adult undertone to it,” adds Sherri. “There’s something for everyone in it. A younger viewer is going to enjoy the storyline and costumes and sets and the characters, but a more mature viewer is going to appreciate the humor and the sincerity, and the dramatics that come with it.

“And then the music—I could listen to these people sing every day. And we do! We listen to them sing every day and I don’t know what will happen when I can’t hear them sing every day.”

“There seems to be a lot of camaraderie,” says Sandra. “A lot of new people have joined the cast. And they seem to have found their niche and the rest of them are so welcoming.”

“The family keeps growing,” says Sherri.

A massive amount of time has gone into the performance since practices began at the beginning of August.

“Starting in beginning of August we do something every day for at least a few hours before we even get it started. There’s not a lot of time to sleep in a day,” says Sandra.

“It’s good and it’s so rewarding and it’s worth it,” says Sherri. “Cumulatively I can’t imagine the hours. I don’t know if you could ever pick a number because you have 30 to 45 people coming out for four hour practice each night and the costume people and all the people working behind the scenes. It’s just massive.”

“Traditionally we’ve been rehearsing Monday to Thursday and then Sunday, and sometimes Saturday in Rocanville. So that’s five to six days a week,” says Sandra. “They are not going to get a break at all until the end of the show now, we practice every night at 6:30, and sometimes we pull someone in at 6 to start rehearsing at 6.”

Despite the staggering amount of work that goes into these shows, both Sandra and Sherri say they love what comes of it.

“It is so rewarding to see our local community shine in all of these areas,” says Sandra. “What a lot of talent they have—a huge amount of talent—and there is something about the arts community—once we got rolling six years ago we needed it to continue because it’s so important. You can play an instrument until you’re 80 or 90. You can’t skate that long. It’s so healing for a person to sing, it’s so important for people to be singing, whether it’s in the shower or on the stage. It’s so important for your mental health.

“There are people in our community who just love to perform and we have given them a platform for other people outside their little realm to see them shine.

“It’s just so rewarding to see these people that maybe need a little bit of help to shine, to see them grow. There’s nothing better.”

“A lot of it is the journey, the fun you have along the way,” says Sherri. “It’s a lot of work, but to see all the people come together, it is a rewarding feeling. I still can’t believe all these people buy in and go along with us on our crazy ideas. We are so thankful to feel the support of the community. So we would really like to see those seats filled.”

Not only do the performances support local talent, all money raised at them goes back into the Conexus Convention Centre. Over the years Creative Vision has added stage lights, curtains, risers, projector mounts, and a keyboard for the MCC Centre.

They are hoping in the future to purchase a temporary floor for the stage that can be put down and taken back up to keep the stage in good shape, and to add a sound booth at the back of the hall at some point.

There are four performances of “Into the Woods”—one on Friday at 7 pm, one on Saturday at 7 pm, and two on Sunday at 1 pm and 7 pm.

Tickets are on sale all week long this week and can be purchased by calling or texting Dianne Wilson at 306-434-7124.