Morgan Hill Life: Mount Madonna School Students Go “Into the Woods” Jan. 27, 28

Morgan Hill Life: Mount Madonna School students go “Into the Woods” Jan. 27, 28

Students at Mount Madonna School will present the acclaimed musical “Into the Woods” on January 27 and 28, bringing humor and emotional depth to classic fairytales.

Bella Sol Padilla as "Little Red." Photo courtesy Mount Madonna School

Based on stories by the Brothers Grimm, the musical intertwines the plots of characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. An original story about a baker and his wife trying to reverse a curse so they can have a child ties the fairytales together.

“The story’s theme is to be aware of the influence you have on others, whether it be your own children, or simply other individuals you interact with,” said senior Bella Sol Padilla. “I will be playing the role of Little Red Riding Hood, a young girl who is trying to navigate her way through the woods. Similarly, I am also a young individual trying to make my way through life as I transition from high schooler to college student.”

Director Chelsea Otterness described the show as exploring “the depths of darkness, morality and humor” and challenging self-serving behavior.

“This play is as multifaceted as the human experience itself. We venture beyond archetypal characters, delving into the repercussions of pursuing selfish agendas. Our talented students infuse their roles with years of experience, pushing the boundaries of characterization and showcasing their prowess in both acting and musical performance.”

The show features renowned music and lyrics from legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Teacher Holly Ota called his work both “clever and lush” and said the musical makes audiences ponder values like greed versus responsibility.

“The main message of ‘Into the Woods’ is to be careful what you wish for,” said senior Cy Harris. “It’s an allegory for life.”

She plays the Baker’s Wife, a character who experiences love and loss. She is stuck in this mediocre life, and struggles with love and who she loves.

“I relate to feeling trapped in a box, not necessarily of marriage, but of being a woman and the opportunities that are available to me,” Harris said. “She is both a powerful character and one that makes mistakes, which makes her more relatable.”

Performing in musicals provides valuable skills, she said.

“You need a lot of bravery to perform, and be willing to take risks even if it’s embarrassing sometimes,” she said. “It also is a way to connect because we get to interact with more than just our class.”

Classmate Padilla agreed participating in theater “helps people come out of their shell.” She has grown from being afraid to sing to now performing solos.

With humor, iconic songs, and timeless life lessons, students invite all to the woods on 2 p.m. Jan. 27 and 28 at Mount Madonna School’s theater. Tickets are on sale at Adult tickets are $15; $10 for 18 and under; all seats are reserved.