Alexandra Billings & Jane Kaczmarek to be Featured in INTO THE… – Broadway World

In a landmark partnership, Pasadena Playhouse has been collaborating with all of the high schools of Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) over the past 6 months to realize the students’ vision of Into the particular Woods. Working alongside theater professionals, and directed by Los Angeles director Fran de Leon , over 200 high school students plus faculty members have been working to design, rehearse and create their own special production. The students are from the four Pasadena Unified comprehensive high schools: Pasadena High College, John Muir High School Early College Magnet, Blair High School, and Marshall Fundamental Hugh School. The manufacturing will also feature Jane Kaczmarek as the Narrator at the evening performance on January 27th, and the voice of Alexandra Billings as the tone of voice of the Giant at all performances.

After months of collaboration, the project will culminate in 3 performances in Pasadena Civic Auditorium upon January 26-27. Two shows will become student-only audiences comprised of other students through PUSD. One performance on January 27 at 7 p. m. will be free for the community. Tickets will be available to reserve beginning January 17 at pasadenaplayhouse. org or by calling Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529.

This is the kickoff event for Pasadena Playhouse’s six-month celebration of Stephen Sondheim January 26 through June 11, 2023, which includes two full productions — Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music, concerts by two rising stars, a community choral event, and more. The grand finale will be a special concert simply by Sondheim muse Bernadette Peters .

Imagine being a 17-year-old high school drama student working alongside theatre professionals to design plus perform Into the Woods on a famed Pasadena stage. This winter, it’s a dream come true for more than two hundred PUSD students and teachers as they prepare for the particular unique creation that will be enjoyed by an audience associated with 8, 500 student and community members.

Into The particular Woods will be the lyrically rich retelling of classic Brothers Grimm fables, along with Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine bringing the cockeyed fairytales to life on stage featuring all of your favorite characters : Cinderella, her prince, Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf, Jack (his beanstalk, his mother and cow Milky White) as well as the Witch – who has cast a powerful spell.

Into the Woods is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). This production brings a fresh local perspective, with references to Pasadena geography, landmarks, and history of the region, as well as the social and systemic challenges faced by underrepresented communities within the area over time.

“Students are gaining valuable skills and experience on a professional stage along with some of the most respected artists in musical theater in the country, ” said Karen Anderson , Coordinator of PUSD’s Arts Education program. “They’re working with vocal coaches, set designers, and tech crews, learning to solve problems creatively, collaborate along with new teammates, and articulate complex theoretical concepts. Students are developing confidence in their voices plus bodies and growing their social-emotional plus communication abilities. ”

College students are in the final stages of rehearsal, building costumes and sets, and pit orchestra wedding rehearsal. PUSD teachers are also supporting rehearsals and serve as co-directors on the manufacturing, collaborating with professional movie director Fran sobre Leon .

Danny Feldman , Producing Artistic Director of Pasadena Playhouse stated, “We couldn’t think of a better way of starting our special event of Sondheim than by introducing his work to the next generation associated with theater makers and viewers. This will certainly be a good Into the particular Woods like no other plus thanks to the generous support of so many, we’ll be able to offer the show free for that community. ”

The forged of In to the Woods includes Asher Hammer as the Baker, Makenna Magalong as the Baker’s Wife, Ida Hartel since the Witch, Yazlynn Acosta because Cinderella, Zephen Peter since Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf 1, Maddie Harbison while Red Riding Hood, Mattias Orr like Jack, Amora Evans as Jack’s Mother, Audrey Bradley-McKinnon as Rapunzel, Kaleb Del Villar because Rapunzel’s Prince/Wolf 2, Vega Benn since Cinderella’s Stepmother, Jade Farrise as Florida, and Yahsaiah Curry seeing that Lucinda.

The cast also features Michael Mendoza as Mysterious Man, Jasper Barrera as Steward, Marley Thach as Milkey White/Cinderella’s Mom US, Paulina McConnell as Granny/Cinderella US/Jack Puppet, Genesis Holmes because Cinderella’s Mother/Granny US, Marshall Gluck while Narrator/Baker US, and Joel Griffin like Cinderella’s Father/Rapunzel’s Prince US.

The Ensemble of To the Woods consists of Zora Arceneaux as Lady Giant/Jack’s Mother US, Elizabeth Amicone seeing that Cinderella’s Mom Arm/Little Red US, Akemi Wong as Cinderella’s Mother Arm/Rapunzel ALL OF US, Emily Johnson as Steward US, Phinn McFarland as Little Pig #1/Jack US/Puppet US ALL, Ian Timburg as Small Pig #2/Cinderella’s Prince US, Josiah Bowman as Giant/Cinderella’s Father ALL OF US, Olivia Barrios very little Pig #3/Witch US, Stepmother PEOPLE. Felisa Favela as Baker’s Wife US, Silvia Pinto as Sleeping Beauty/Florinda US ALL, and Miranda Ho since Birds/Snow White/Lucinda US.

Student Stage Managers include Waverly Knight, Jupiter Diaz, Isaiah Rios, Katie Mencken and Roman Favela.

Auditions with regard to the district’s all-star music, complete along with call-backs, were held in September.

The particular all-star musical is a culmination of PUSD’s powerhouse performing arts programs, including exposure and practice in episode, dance, instrumental music, plus vocal music starting inside preschool.

All PUSD college students in grades four via eight may attend matinees of the In to the Woods on The month of january 26 and 27 in the Pasadena Social Auditorium for this live movie theater experience.

PUSD students are participating as actors, musicians, technical crew, and costume and scenic design.

ACTING: Acting learners auditioned regarding placement in performance tracks. The casting of Into the Woods was expanded to include a choral ensemble and additional speaking roles. Understudies are also included for your lead functions.

  • Students rehearse with a professional director and songs director throughout the entirety from the production. Teachers assist plus supervise at all rehearsals and serve while co-directors upon the creation, allowing intended for hands-on mentorship and professional development.
  • Additionally, acting students have a chance to attend and perform in master classes with professional actors.

ORCHESTRA: Under the direction of a professional music director/conductor, student musicians learn and carry out the production score associated with In to the Forest

  • Orchestra students had been nominated simply by their respective schools in order to participate within an “All Star” ensemble composed of college students from various PUSD schools.
  • Rehearsals are usually led by a PUSD conductor, plus performances is going to be conducted by a professional conductor.

TECH CREW: During the particular production, learners will serve around the team of the deck, costume, and prop departments under expert crew heads, gaining first-hand experience of a professional cinema backstage environment.

  • Lead positions were determined simply by an application process
  • A Stage Tech class from one of the high schools is usually taking the lead on supporting staff

COSTUMES: A student costuming class is definitely designing plus building the particular costumes to get Into the Woods to gain further understanding associated with costume considerations in a professional setting.

  • Students in a costume design program are designing and building costumes under the direction of the PUSD faculty member.
  • Costuming professionals provide master classes to this group of students

SCENIC DESIGN/PROJECTIONS: Student artists are studying about storytelling through panoramic design and assist inside the design, scenic painting and/or projection style of To the Woods

  • Students in one scenic design/art class program design either painted stage flats or even drawn projections under the PUSD teachers member.
  • Unused student design concepts can be displayed either onsite in the particular Civic or in an online portfolio.

Furthermore, ALL STUDENTS involved in the process have the following opportunities:

DRAMATURGY: All college students involved in Directly into the Hardwoods explore the history and dramaturgy of the piece. College students take a deep dive into the good fairy tales, break down the script of Straight into the Timber, and examine narrative, themes, and interpretations.

OBSERVERSHIPS: Observership college students are nominated by PUSD faculty. Small cohorts of students observe/assist in the particular following sections: Directing, Music Directing, plus Stage Management/Design. Students develop mentorship relationships with professional artists and gain hands-on connection with these types of professions.

TEACHER IMPACT: Teacher professional development opportunities abound in this hands-on experience side by side with functioning professionals. Lead senior high school educators with focus on one of the production areas:

  • Theater Tech
  • Costume
  • Visual Design
  • Directing/Music Directing

STUDENT IMPACT (beyond those participating within production):
All learners in marks 4-8 will certainly attend matinees from the show on Jan 26 & 27 from the Civic Auditorium. PUSD and Pasadena Playhouse will truly “open the stage” for over 5, 000 students along with this live theater encounter.


Pasadena Playhouse has been bringing people together to get more than 100 years to knowledge bold plus important theater. It is one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy associated with profound theatrical impact and courageous new work. In 1937, the particular Playhouse has been officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution plus commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition associated with excellence underneath the helm of producing artistic director Danny Feldman . Dedicated in order to enriching lives through theatre, community applications and understanding initiatives, Pasadena Playhouse can be a living force in the community.

Stephen Sondheim wrote the songs and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Songs (1973), The particular Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday In The Park With George (1984), Into The Woodlands (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994) and Road Show (2008) because well since lyrics pertaining to West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear The Waltz? (1965) and extra words for Candide (1973). Anthologies of their work include Side By Side By Sondheim (1976), Marry Me A Little (1981), You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99) and Sondheim On Sondheim (2010). He composed the scores associated with the films Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) plus songs meant for Dick Tracy (1990) and the television production Evening Primrose (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: “Finishing the particular Hat” (2010) and “Look, I Made A Hat” (2011). In 2010 Broadway’s Henry Miller ‘s Theatre was renamed The particular Stephen Sondheim Theatre in his honour; inside 2019, London’s Queens Theater was furthermore renamed the Sondheim.

James Lapine is a playwright and movie director. On Broadway he has worked with Stephen Sondheim upon Sunday within the Park along with George; Into the Woods; plus Passion. This individual also conceived and directed the musical revue Sondheim on Sondheim. With William Finn he created Falsettos, recently revived by Lincoln Center Theatre ; Small Miss Sunshine; Muscle; and directed Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other Broadway credits include his play based on Moss Hart is memoir Act One (also LCT), Amour, The Diary of Anne Frank, Golden Child, plus Dirty Blonde. He offers written the particular plays Table Settings, Twelve Dreams, The Moment When, Fran’s Bed and Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing. Lapine continues to be nominated designed for eleven Tony Awards, winning on three occasions. He has also already been the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, SDC’s Mr. Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater, and inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

is best known for seven seasons on TV’s Malcolm in the Middle receiving 7 consecutive Emmy Honor nominations plus nods just for the SAG and Fantastic Globe Prize as well. Her tv career began with The Paper Chase and Hill Street Blues after graduating from the particular University of Wisconsin plus the Yale School associated with Drama. Within New York she has performed on Broadway and off, and for six seasons with the Williamstown Theatre Festival appearing in No More Shall All of us Part with Alfred Molina , The Roommate with S. Epatha Merkerson and Tell Me I’m Not Crazy with the late Mark Blum . In LA, Kindertransport (Ovation Award) Raised in Captivity (LA Drama Critics Award), Good People (Ovation nomination), the Phase Manager within Our Town with Deaf West Theatre at Pasadena Playhouse and again with Mr. Molina in A View From the Bridge for BBC radio along with a Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which was filmed plus available upon Broadway HD. Jane can be seen within the upcoming Apple TV limited series The Changelingwith Lakeith Stanfield . Ms. Kaczmarek’s foundation, Clothes Off Our Back, raised more than 4 million dollars for the purpose of children’s charities by auctioning celebrity apparel. She life in Pasadena, CA along with her a few children and serves within the boards of The Pasadena Conservatory of Music, The Pasadena Educational Foundation, and Pasadena Playhouse.

is an actress, singer, author, teacher and activist. Billings starred as “Madame Morrible” in the Broadway manufacturing of Wicked, the first trans actor to portray the role. She previously starred on Broadway inside the Manhattan Theatre Club production from the Nap on the Samuel J. Friedman Movie theater. Ben Brantley of the particular NY Times called the girl performance “a sensational Broadway debut” plus “a marvel of glamorous menace. inch Alex celebrities within the forthcoming Amazon television series “The Peripheral. inches She was seen in the award-winning tv series “Transparent, ” and has been the recurring guest star upon “The Conners, ” “Never Have We Ever, ” and many other television series. She superstars in and is the Executive Producer of the upcoming function film “Queen Tut. inch Alex carried out at the particular 2022 Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Ms. Billings has been honored to receive the Visibility Award from the particular Human Rights Campaign (HRC). She is the recipient of five After Dark Awards and a Joseph Jefferson Honor. In 2016, she moderated a panel during Transgender Awareness Month at the (Obama) White House; she won the TPA Award, The particular Rainbow Spirit Award, and was inducted in to the Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in Chicago. Her autobiographical memoir “This Time for Me” is published by Amazon Books. Billings earned her Master’s Degree at CSULB. She actually is currently an Associate Professor of Cinema at USC. She is a Viewpoints Associate at The Steppenwolf Theater.