By EMELIA HITCHNER
The Apex Theatre is bringing beloved fairy tale characters to life with tales of power, struggle, darkness and triumph June 24 through 25 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
“Into the Woods” is a theatrical play weaving together several character plots centered around a baker and his wife’s quest to reverse a witch’s curse.
Ian Mairs, producer of “Into the Woods” for Apex Theatre, said the student cast has spent eight hours a day for the past 12 days rehearsing for the performance.
The nonprofit theater education center offers multiple summer camps for students ages 14-21 to expand their performance skills.
But Mairs said “Into the Woods” is one of the most advanced and rigorous camps for upper -level students in high school and college with a serious interest in music and theater performance.
“This wasn’t a recreational camp; it was for students who are focused on pursuing this professionally,” Mairs said. “It’s very similar to what their first union gig would be out of college.”
Mairs said the story plot emphasizes strong female roles and relies heavily on theatrics from the entire cast.
“This has powerful women in it and an ensemble cast, so everyone has an important role,” Mairs said. “The cast transforms themselves into everything in the play, from the forest to the cow.”
Aside from exposing students to the rigors of career performance, Mairs said he hopes the play inspires families and children to think creatively.
“This is particularly aimed at families interested in stimulating their own children’s imaginations,” Mairs said. “The storytelling is theatrical and hopefully children will go home and act out the themes of the play for mom and dad.”
Although 50 students auditioned for the play, only 16 students were chosen for roles.
“These students are absolute theater kids,” Mairs said. “They’re intellectually curious, and they’re engaged in their arts community.”
Admission is $25 for general reserved seating and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at pvconcerthall.com.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach.