Watertown High theater creates a ‘Woods’ well worth exploring

Spring musical ‘Into the Woods’ will take the WHS stage March 17-19


Some of the cast and crew of “Into the Woods” take a break from a recent rehearsal at Watertown High School. The musical will be performed for three nights in the WHS auditorium, March 17-19, 2022.

Adrian Schick, Raider Times staff

Watertown High School has unveiled its latest production: “Into the Woods!” The adaptation of the 1986 Broadway musical will hit the stage in March to dazzle audiences with musical numbers, interwoven plots, and more!

Written by award-winning American playwright James Lapine over 35 years ago, “Into the Woods” draws characters and plots from several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, including (but not limited to) Little Red Riding Hood (played by Desiree Ambila), Jack, the protagonist of Jack and the Beanstalk (played by Christopher Papazian), Cinderella (played by Campbell Pelton-Cairns), and Rapunzel (played by Nairi Davidian). The protagonists are a baker and his wife, whose venture to have a child interferes with the other characters and their stories.

The prop cow known as Milky White has become a favorite of the “Into the Woods” cast and crew. The musical will be performed for three nights in the Watertown High auditorium, March 17-19, 2022.

Directed by Robin Wilson, “Into the Woods” may be one of Watertown High School’s most ambitious productions. It features a cast of dozens of actors and actresses, as well as costumes and crew-made props made with painstaking care and dedication. 

“This musical is different from others because it intertwines different storylines that most of us already know in a way that is interesting and makes sense,” remarked Davidian. “I like that because it engages people and catches their interest.”

While the play itself is a fascinating musical for the ages that has survived the test of time, remaining relevant for decades, the cast and crew have been working hard to live up to its legacy – and have discovered an appreciation for the work put into it.

“Building the set and props was actually a fun experience,” said Papazian. “I got to see what it’s like to build stage props and be behind the scenes … Not only do I get to engage in an activity, but it’s also a great time to socialize with friends and others on the set … It’s been a great experience overall, and a great journey as well.”

Obviously, this grand theatrical creation is not to happen without a multitude of elements being brought together at the same time.

Building the set and props was actually a fun experience . . . Not only do I get to engage in an activity, but it’s also a great time to socialize with friends and others on the set.


“There’s the staging, like where we are on stage,” Davidian continued. “Which can be a bit confusing, but fun. [There is] singing, which can take a long time because there is a lot of music, the costumes, which are interesting, and drawing and building set pieces, which is a lot of work.”

Of course, the making of the show has not gone off entirely without a hitch. With a production filled with fantastic props, there are bound to be complications.

“When we were reusing some of the sets,” reminisced Anna Hermans, a crew member, “the previous people painted over the screws … [It was] painful to take apart.”

“The elements of the show’s making are equally split between set building, acting, and singing,” described Versailles Leaf, who plays one of four narrators. “The set building can get a bit terrifying, especially when it feels like you’re in a casket 6  feet below the ground, but besides that, it’s very chill. 

“The acting is what I personally enjoy the most … Everyone else sounds very good, especially the main cast. It’s always nice to hear them sing because it’s very pleasant and well done.”

Even in the light of midterm exams and the ever-fluctuating COVID-19 protocols, the cast and crew remain dedicated and close-knit. 

“They’re all so lovely and supportive to work with,” said Pelton-Cairns. “It’s great to be able to laugh with them over stuff. Overall, great cast!”

“Into the Woods” will be shown March 17-19. Tickets can be purchased in advance in the days before the showing of the productions. 

With the cast and crew embarking on such a journey to produce the musical, make sure to show up to see it, and make their journey worthwhile.

–March 16, 2022–