McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • McPherson College heads ‘Into the Woods’

  • In the upcoming musical “Into the Woods” at McPherson College, E.H. Petropulos plays Cinderella for her senior show, and the story of her time at the college is something of a Cinderella tale of transformation, as well.
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  • In the upcoming musical “Into the Woods” at McPherson College, E.H. Petropulos plays Cinderella for her senior show, and the story of her time at the college is something of a Cinderella tale of transformation, as well.
    Petropulos, of Larkspur, Colo., credited her theater and choir professors with helping her grow and discover her talent ― not only as an actress and singer but also in costuming, sets, makeup and many other aspects of theater.
    “They’ve taken me from a scared little freshman girl who didn’t know how to do anything to a senior woman who can do anything she’s asked to do in the theater,” she said.
    “Into the Woods” ― book by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim ― shows Nov. 15 and 16 in Brown Auditorium. It presents re-interpretations of classic fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella.
    The first act contains the tales more or less as people remember them from childhood. In fact, it’s where several private performances to local schools are going to cut off.
    The second act goes, well, a little deeper.
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    “The second half is more ‘after’ the ‘Happily ever after,’” Petropulos said. “When they discover what they wished for has more consequences than they thought.”
    Jd. Bowman, associate professor of theater and staging director of “Into the Woods,” said the second act turns the musical into a fairy tale directed toward the adults that we have become. It has prevalent themes of regret, isolation and grief, as well as redemption.
    “There are so many layers to this show,” Bowman said. “The music is well-written, the characters are surprisingly three-dimensional, and the two acts are both so different. It is exciting to offer such a challenging piece, and I can tell the students are getting a lot out of studying the composer, Sondheim.”
    The musical also represents an opportunity for theatergoers to get something of a Hollywood “sneak-preview” before the musical comes as a major motion picture to screens in 2014.
    Petropulos will work in the costume shop, as well as designing the makeup for her senior show. That’s representative of the diverse experience and expertise she’s gained at McPherson College, she said. Because of that, her plans after graduation are similarly diverse. They include trying out for Wichita Musical Theatre; United Professional Theatre Auditions in Memphis, Tenn.; and even heading down to Walt Disney World working as an honest-to-goodness Disney princess. So she might end up with a career portraying Cinderella after playing her in this senior production.
    Page 2 of 2 - That would suit her just fine.
    “Deep down inside,” she said with a slight laugh. “I am a princess.”
    All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to all shows cost $5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages high school and younger as well as seniors. Reservations may be made by contacting the theater box office at (620) 242-0444 or at theatre@mcpherson.edu.
    Cast includes: Petropulos; Nick Greenway, freshman, Wichita; Becca Leite, freshman, Salina; Joshua Hall, sophomore, Salina; Sarah Schowengerdt, senior, McPherson; Justin Dean, senior, Fuquay Varina, N.C.; Laurina Hannan, junior, Wamego; Amanda Leffew, sophomore, Hanover Park, Ill.; Tara Gladding, freshman, Marquette; Ethan Winter, freshman, McPherson; Addie Johnson, sophomore, McPherson; Joanna Hoffman, McPherson; Ethan Quinn, senior, McPherson; Kristie Gutierrez, senior, Quinter; Elisabeth Lindsey, sophomore, Kansas City; Chandler Dohe, freshman, Limon, Colo.; Alyese Crist, senior, Quinter; Luke Hannan, freshman, Wamego; and Kristin Nelson, senior, McPherson.
    Crew includes: staging director: Jd. Bowman; technical director: Zach Winkle, senior, Goddard; musical director: Dr. Joshua Norris, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities; stage manager: Haleigh Orand, sophomore, Wichita; assistant stage manager: Sam Williams, junior, Storm Lake, Iowa; set, costumes and light design: Dr. Rick Tyler, professor of speech and theater; conductor: Kyle Hopkins, associate professor of music and director of bands; and props: Alyese Crist, senior, Quinter.
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