Community ready to perform Into the Woods

Published 3:00 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Community members perform a Tony Award winning musical “Into the Woods,” at the Brookhaven Little Theatre starting Thursday . Tickets are on sale online for shows on Oct. 12, Oct. 14-15, Oct. 19, Oct. 21-22.

Into the Woods is a modern show featuring characters from classic fairytales. Brookhaven Little Theatre’s synopsis on the show states the story follows a baker and his wife, Cinderella and Jack as they hope to have their wishes granted.

Director Chris Roebuck, a resident of Jackson, said he enjoys the musical because of how it takes familiar characters and twists the story. He encourages Brookhaven and Southwest Mississippi to get out and watch the show. 

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“I have been humming this entire show all month and then some since August. This is my second time to direct the show,” Roebuck said. “I enjoy how it takes familiar fairy tales and turns them on their side and gives us another perspective. We always hear the stories are always happy and this is what happened after the happily ever after.” 

He has directed a few shows in Jackson and Moscow  but this will be his third show at the Brookhaven Little Theatre. Roebuck said he loves theater so much he drives down from Jackson each day for rehearsals and the show. 

Production Manager Steven McMorris said the Brookhaven Little Theatre is a hidden gym in terms of quality and talent. Actors on stage have typical day to day jobs but they become fully engrossed in their character starting with sound checks. 

Stage design is done in house and the set is another masterpiece of itself. A tower stands tall to the right with a window overlooking the crowd, the trunks of trees make up the midground for the woods. 

“We want people to know we produce high quality shows. We want to help give people an outlet for art. There aren’t a lot of other opportunities,” McMorris said. “This is our 56th season and we are one of the longest running community theaters in the state. We have a great season planned. I encourage the community to support it. Without them we could not continue to do this.” 

The story starts out with one simple wish. A baker and his wife wish for a child, Cinderella wants to attend the King’s Festival and Jack wishes for his cow to give milk. A witch’s curse stands in the way of the baker and his wife having a child so they set off to break the curse.

Paden Phillips plays the lead character, the baker, and is excited for opening night Thursday. He is originally from Helena-West Helena, Arkansas but moved to Brookhaven when he got married. 

It will be the first time he has performed on stage in three years as he took a hiatus to learn the production and directing side of theater. He is now five years into being a part of the Brookhaven Little Theater. 

“Theater is my one outlet that keeps me creative. I love coming back and performing for shows and getting an immediate response from the audience,” Phillips said. “I am excited for this show because I think to date it is the most difficult musically. It is deep. It is also a fast paced musical. You can roll with it. I hope people see it and can see this level of theater can handle the show. It really takes a lot of effort and rehearsal time.”

Musicals are his favorite genre in theater. He said with each musical show he still tries to learn something new to add a challenge for himself. 

Phillips works as an assistant manager at Sherwin-Williams Paints and often uses the slow closing hours at work to prepare for the show. He said he sings and moves down the aisles when they don’t have anyone in the store or goes over his flashcards on downtimes to remember lines and cues. 

“I associate a lot of things with movement. I use the downtime in the store to go through that movement,” Phillips said. “The quicker I can associate a line with a movement it helps me remember it.”

The show is recommended for all ages.

Here are the show dates and times:

Thursday, October 12, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 14, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 15, 2p.m.

Thursday, October 19, 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 21, 2p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday October 22, 2 p.m.