Local art groups collaborate for Into the Woods… and From the Woods…

Tonight begins the 4 day adventure for “Into the Woods” produced by the Pine City Heritage Players under the artistic direction of Jay Schueller. The show is truly not one to be missed, but this summer production includes a new artistic collaboration as well. Those attending the performances this weekend will also enjoy a new art exhibit by Mike Gainor, “From the Woods”.

In April, the Heritage Players approached the Pine Center for the Arts with interest in collaborating to put up an art show with a similar theme for our summer production. Pine City is home to three fantastic, hard working arts groups, and we thought this could be an easy way to showcase another group during our production.

Mike Gainor, ‘Digital Mischief’ artist, would be the featured artist for the July exhibit for the Art Center, so he was the obvious choice to simply expand his exhibit for a second location. Did he have any art that might fit?

Mike’s response:

I didn’t, not really. With the ‘Digital Mischief’ art I’ve been making since 2015, nearly everything starts with my own photographs. But I’ve always loved the weirdness and power of these folktales and the idea grabbed my imagination. A little research led to  a digital treasure trove from the New York Public Library – high-quality scans of the original illustrations from the 1912 German edition of the Brothers Grimm, offered to the public free to download and clear of any copyright. And those illustrations by Phillip Grot Johan, Robert Anton Leinweber and Ludwig Beckmann were incredible, as you can see in the original versions of their work included here. 

In the book “Steal Like an Artist,” by Austin Kleon, there’s a great quote by Mark Twain. Twain said: “It is better to take what does not belong to you than to let it lie around neglected.”

So I started to experiment with these images, and the results are what you see. Sometimes it enhanced something inspiring about the original illustration. Sometimes it ended up heading in an very different direction. 

It was, frankly, a joy working on these images. It was fascinating and thrilling to take these tools I’d learned to use and deploy them in a very different way to interpret, adapt and reimagine these strange and beautiful illustrations. 

Folktales are about upsetting the natural order of things and then finding lessons in that disruption. They can be sweet, funny, moving and disturbing – often all at the same time. And they are endlessly compelling. We tell these stories over and over. We can analyze them and try to describe what they mean and why they are important. But there’s still a mystery to them. We will never get to the bottom of that mystery, and that’s exactly as it should be. 

Tickets are still available to see “Into the Woods” this weekend. Advance tickets will be available until NOON on performance day at the Chamber Office, Cabin Coffee’s or Three Twenty Brewing Co. Note: Cabin Coffee’s & the Chamber Office are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Online ticket purchases are also available on our website.

Set Construction Volunteers Welcome

Set construction is officially under way for the summer production of Into the Woods.  There are a variety of projects that the team will be working on during the coming week and interested volunteers are welcome to join us at anytime.  The following dates have been scheduled:

Tuesday, July 9th from 9:00am – 5:00pm — construction projects and base coat painting

Thursday, July 11th from 9:00am – 5:00pm — construction projects, sound and lighting installation, and scenic painting (starting at noon)

Friday, July 12th from Noon – 7:30pm — construction projects, scenic painting, props and lobby projects

Saturday, July 13th from 9:00am – 4:00pm — all areas will have final projects with goal of completion by end of the day.  We will plan for a Noon potluck, if you are planning to join us and want to sign-up for what you’ll be bringing, use this Google Doc to do so!


Tickets On Sale Now For Into the Woods

The cast and directors have been working on putting together this year’s summer musical, Into the Woods, and with less than 2 weeks before the opening of the show they are doubling their efforts. 

One of Sondheim’s most popular works, Into the Woods is a musically sophisticated show in which James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

Into the Woods poses new challenges for many of the cast members as well as the musicians involved in the orchestra.  According to Darcey Stransky, stage manager for the show, “The show is all music. Even when the actors have a few lines of dialogue between songs, the orchestra will be playing.”  The orchestra will be directed by Jennifer Krinke and Sonda Jacobsen, playing keyboard for the show, has been attending each rehearsal to learn the music for the show. 

The group has been rehearsing three nights each week since the beginning of June, learning music, memorizing lines, and creating their unique characters.  “Performing as an actor or working behind the scenes in a show is a big time commitment, but definitely one that has many rewards,” says director Jay Schueller.  “The entire team has been hard at work to create what we hope will be a beautiful production.”

According to Schueller, the last few weeks before a show opens are some of the busiest days in preparing for the show.  “We will be building a set, sewing costumes, putting the finishing touches on props and designing the lobby experience. All of these things take volunteers and we welcome anyone to join us.”

Volunteers for backstage, box office, set construction, costumes and publicity are welcome.  Contact us by email ( heritageplayers@gmail.com )and share what area interests you and we will work to get you connected.

The musical will perform July 18 – 21, 2019 in the Pine City High School Auditorium.  Tickets will go on sale July 2nd at these local establishments: Cabin Coffee, Three Twenty Brewing Co, and the Chamber Office.  PCHP offers a $3 per ticket discount on all advance purchases.  When purchasing online, customers will need to use the coupon code: intothewoods in order to receive the discount. 

Congratulations to the cast for “Into the Woods”

The Heritage Players are excited to announce the cast list for this year’s summer musical, “Into the Woods”. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. With auditions held on May 20th and 21st, there were over 40 community members that came out to audition for this show and we are grateful for all the support from our region in making these shows possible.

Characters in order of appearance:

NarratorMiranda Burger
CinderellaRachel Bigelow
JackNathan Kleppe
Jack’s MotherMary Ellen Sauser
BakerJon Bigelow
Baker’s WifeAllie Gosen
Cinderella’s StepmotherJennifer Hansmann
FlorindaMcKenzie Clemens
LucindaSigne Reistad
Cinderella’s FatherNick Basta
Little Red Riding HoodLydia Struss
Cinderella’s MotherCaron Peters
WitchDawn Barstad-Carpenter
Mysterious ManKyle Peters
WolfScott Tolzmann
GrannyJulie Samuelson
RapunzelLaura Michels
Rapunzel’s PrinceJake Loftus
Cinderella’s PrinceKyle Hansen
StewardThomas Yoder
GiantEmily Schueller
Sleeping BeautyKodi Maki

“Into the Woods” will be presented on Thursday, July 18 – Sunday, July 21 at the Pine City High School Auditorium and is presented in partnership with Pine City Community Education.

Audition Dates Set for “Into the Woods”

The Pine City Heritage Players will host auditions for Into the Woods on Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21 from 6:30 – 9:00pm at the Pine City High School (1400 Main St S, Pine City) in the high school choir room.  Those interested in auditioning should enter through the main doors and check-in at the auditorium lobby.

One of Sondheim’s most popular works, Into the Woods is a musically sophisticated show in which James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

“Into the Woods will continue the tradition in Pine City of quality theater entertainment,” says Director Jay Schueller, “the fairy tale stories will be familiar to many with a twist of dark comedy that makes them popular with today’s audiences. We are looking forward to what will be a challenging, yet fun, summer of collaboration.”

Auditions will be held as an open call for actors across the region ages 16+ for this production.   The musical will perform July 18 – 21, 2019. Any questions (not answered below) regarding auditions can be directed to heritageplayers@gmail.com

What to prepare for your audition:

  • Download a copy of the Audition Form and bring a completed form with you to your audition. We will have copies available when you check-in for auditions.
  • As part of your audition form, please bring with you a list of any school, work, church, vacation or other commitments that you may have for the summer.
  • Please come prepared to sing a song that will showcase your vocal range, skills & talents. We will have a piano accompanist on site to play music that you bring with you, or can provide speakers if you bring music on a digital device.
  • Based on your character selection, you may be asked to sing an additional song directly from the production. (Once scripts arrive, we will update this page with links to music for your review).

What else do I need to know?

  • We are currently planning for rehearsals to be held on Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings. If you have a conflict with more than 2 rehearsal dates as identified on the audition form, please discuss your conflicts in detail prior to auditioning for the show.
  • As we are a community theater, we rely heavily on volunteers to help with set construction, box office volunteers, providing food for work days, etc. We encourage cast members and family members to take part in our Team Building + Set Building days! More details on that schedule will be provided in June.
  • All cast members will be given assignments during the strike of the show after the close of the matinee on Sunday. With dedicated volunteers…. we are often done by 6:30 or 7:00 PM and can enjoy a potluck cast & crew party before we part ways!