"‘Into the Woods’ first-ever joint Van Vleck, Tidehaven production" by: Jessica Shepard

Darve Smith photo
Van Vleck and Tidehaven ISD theater students gear up for their musical production of "Into the Woods." The first ever joint event will be Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 7 p. m. in the Van Vleck High School Auditorium.

   The historical, first-ever joint musical production with Van Vleck and Tidehaven ISD students is coming soon.
   “Into the Woods” will be performed three times, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, and at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, in the Van Vleck High School Auditorium.
   Saturday’s production will also be a dinner theater event with tickets costing $20 per person and available to purchase from the cast and crew members.
   Sunday and Monday tickets are $3 for students and $6 for adults.
   “‘Into the Woods’ is our first ever production together,” said TISD theater director Darve Smith.
    “We have started calling our group VanHaven! Look for us on social media with the hashtag ‘#VanHaven.’ Gena and I had discussed doing a production together this year and we searched for a musical that had enough roles to go around. ‘Into the Woods’ fit the criteria and we both like the show. “
   The students are excited about this collaboration and that this production is a new experience for him, he added.
   “We’ve learned that getting the Tidehaven students to Van Vleck in time for rehearsals is the real challenge,” said Smith.
   “We had to push back rehearsal times to allow the students to travel through Bay City and its three school zones right as school lets out for the day.
   “One of the major benefits of this collaboration is the students will get more experience on stage with a different director and different actors. We are in the business of education and this experience will allow everyone involved to learn and grow in their theatre arts education.”
   The musical does feature an intermission break.
   Historically, the musical debuted in San Diego in 1986 and intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.
   Some of those include characters from “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Rapunzel.”
   It was also released as a feature film in 2014.
   Originally, the production was to open during the Rice Festival.
   “Hurricane Harvey and the floods that followed put a big kink in the plans,” he said.
   “We had to reschedule the entire production and put everything on hold for a few weeks right after we started.”
   Rehearsals are under way and feature the best singers TISD and VVISD have to offer.
   “This musical is one of the most expensive we’ve ever tried, with royalties, music and costumes we have stretched the budget,” said Smith.
   “We are looking for sponsors. Individuals or local businesses who are interested in supporting the drama programs in Van Vleck ISD and Tidehaven ISD are asked to contact us for sponsorship opportunities. We welcome all donations! Interested sponsors can contact us with the following information. Darve Smith, Tidehaven ISD, dsmith@tidehavenisd.com. And Gena Lea Smith, Van Vleck ISD, gsmith@vvisd.org.”   

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