JHStheaterarts Mission Statement

The Jenkintown High School Theater Arts Program is dedicated to nurturing and developing the talents of the Jenkintown High School student body and providing a safe and creative environment where the artists can cultivate their craft within a supportive and caring community.


A pleasant night full of princes, princesses, a Witch, a Baker and his wife and their interwoven quests for their individual desires told through the twisted fairy tale Into The Woods presented by Jenkintown High School.

Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods came to Broadway in 1987 and was commended by audiences, winning multiple Tony's. The story follows fairy tales we all know and love, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and weaves them into the story line of a Baker and his Wife's desire to have a baby. The fairy tales are not told as we all remember them though. Into the Woods features a much darker insight into these fairy tales, but these actors were up to the challenge.

Jenkintown High School put on a beautiful production compiled with a simple but detailed set, intricate makeup, and beautiful costumes. Students tackled the difficult play and hit the nail right on the head.

Every member of the cast brought something special to the show. One of the many parts of the show that stood out was The Witch, played by Avery Misinkavitch. Her powerful acting and vocals dominated the stage every time she made an appearance, especially in her performance of "Last Midnight."

The Baker (Charlie Mangan) and Baker's wife (Alicia McCarthy) stole the show, creating a dynamic and fantastic chemistry between the two characters. Both students provided excellent vocals and acting to the show while simultaneously leading the show and doing so wonderfully.

Supporting actors carried the show as well, such as Cinderella, played by Maria Cotsis whose vocals made the show even more pleasant than it already was. Cotsis brought her A-game and continued to impress me every time she would take the stage. Cinderella's prince, played by Danny Wescott and Rapunzel's prince, played by James Gans had the entire theater laughing during their comedic number "Agony."

The set had fantastic attention to detail and although simple, it fit very well with the show and gave the actors plenty of space to perform. The props used in the play were fantastic and beautifully made. Even though the sound cut out a few times, the brilliant recovery from any mistakes they had made quickly made me forget.

Overall, Jenkintown High School's performance of Into the Woods was amazing and provided the audience with a night full of laughter and awe of the talent on the stage, making them feel as if they were in their own fairy tale!

by Juliana de Lehman of The AgnesIrwin School


Have you ever seen a world where all the acclaimed fairy tales combine to tell their stories? A wondrous journey where bakers meet princesses, and witches meet little girls in red capes, Jenkintown High School beautifully brought all these characters and stories to life when they presented Into the Woods.

Into the Woods opened on Broadway in November 1997, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. It was very popular and received ten Tony nominations, and won three Tony awards. The show centers around a baker and his wife embarking on a journey in order to have a child, and it adapts many renowned fairy tales and their characters to complete the production.

Jenkintown High School performed the show excellently. Charlie Mangan as The Baker gave a compelling performance with incredible vocal talent. His ability to stay in character and his clear commitment to the role throughout the show really brought his performance to life. Another admirable portrayal was Maria Cotsis as Cinderella. Her bright and beautiful voice along with her expressive acting abilities drew audience members to the lovely character. The Baker�s Wife, played by Alicia McCarthy, had incredible comic choices that left the audience in utter laughter, and her acting was very distinguished and admirable.

One number that was particularly captivating was �No One is Alone�, sung by The Baker, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood (Mattie McNamara), and Jack (Ethan Walters). The four actors and actresses showed full engagement in their characters in one of the most heart-wrenching moments in the show. The chemistry between them was clear and definite and elevated the beauty of the song.

In this production, the crew was delightfully exceptional. The set was simple yet powerful and worked with what was going on onstage, and transitions between scenes were very smooth and clearly well prepared. The lighting was very colorful and elaborate, and drew the audience to the stage, while the sound was also very well done.

Overall, Jenkintown High School�s rendition of Into the Woods was very beautifully done, and all the audience members were left wishing they could live �Happy Ever After�!

by Lia Della Porta of The AgnesIrwin School


Take everyone's favorite fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Little-Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and combine them all into one story, and you�ve got Into the Woods, a crazy and fantastic musical that transcends all generations. The cast and crew of Jenkintown High School masterfully performed this challenging musical.

Written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods originally premiered on Broadway in 1987, where it won many Tony awards, such as Best Score and Best Book. The play features two acts: the first act is light and happy, as most fairy tales are. However, in the second act, things take a turn for the worse, as a giant terrorizes the kingdom, characters fatefully die, and couples remain unfaithful. It has gained popularity since the release of a movie version in 2014.

Jenkintown High School�s production was anchored by the talent of the leads, as well as many of the technical elements. The demanding musical score was wonderfully taken on by many of the cast members.

Avery Misinkavitch (The Witch) boasted her incredibly powerful vocals, from her baritone to her impressive belt, and clearly stood out among the cast. Her final song, �Last Midnight� left the audience in awe and wonder. Alicia McCarthy (The Baker�s Wife) took command of the stage through her impeccable comedic timing and her strong acting. Throughout the show, she was constantly a character to look forward to seeing.

Ethan Walters (Jack) astounded the audience with his constant energy and was a driving force of the show. In his solo, �Giants in the Sky,� his notable vocals shimmered. Maria Cotsis (Cinderella) astounded the audience with her raw emotion and her fantastic vocals.

The costumes of the show, such as those for Cinderella�s Mother or The Wolf, brought the show and the characters of the stories to life. The microphones, despite the occasional problem, were impressively on almost every member of the cast and made everyone easy to hear.

Seeing the fairy tales come to life before our eyes on Friday Night at Jenkintown High School was, well, magic.

by Drew Weiss of The Haverford School


Anything can happen in the woods. A prince can find his true love, a little girl can be led astray, and a couple can find the solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem. This is all shown in Jenkintown High School�s production of the popular musical, Into the Woods.

Into the Woods, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, premiered on Broadway in 1987. The musical intertwines many popular fairytales, and delves into the consequences of the characters� desires. The multiple storylines are tied together by the quest of a childless baker and his wife to begin a family, for a witch has placed a curse of barrenness on them and the only way to reverse it is to gather specific items from other storybook characters.

Jenkintown High School�s production of Into the Woods was spirited and lively, driven by talented leads, engaging supporting actors, and a set that did well to complement the story.

Charlie Mangan portrayed the Baker, and led the show with ceaseless enthusiasm and a strong voice. Mangan delivered humorous lines at the ideal moments, and made his character�s thoughts clear through distinct expressions and gestures. The Baker�s wife was played by Alicia McCarthy. Like her partner, she had excellent comedic timing and a beautiful voice. Each line was delivered with passion, really bringing the character to life.

The entire cast impressed with their constant and eager energy throughout the entire show. Cinderella (Maria Cotsis) stunned the audience with her beautiful voice. Cotsis portrayed Cinderella�s gentle yet indecisive attitude in a way that made her character an easy one to sympathize with. The Witch (Avery Misinkavitch) proved her exceptional talent and range and displayed her characters� complex emotions with songs like �The Last Midnight� and �Witch�s Lament.� Jack was brought to life by Ethan Walters� earnest and innocent portrayal. His songs and acting encapsulated the boundless enthusiasm of a young boy.

The minimalist set fit well with the aura of the musical, and was used effectively to bring the dark and intriguing woods to life. Characters� make up, including tricky renderings such as the Wolf, added to the continuous ambience of the show and was done exceptionally well with great detail in shading and color. Though the production suffered a few sound issues, the cast remarkably performed through such obstacles to create a fascinating show.

Overall, Jenkintown High School�s production of Into the Woods demonstrated their hard work and showcased talented singers while bringing this quirky and entertaining story successfully to life for an audience that ranged from children to grandparents.

by Anji Cooper of Academy of the New Church


Dancing, jumping, singing and leaping is all what �Into the Woods� is about with a little bit of mystery entwined as the cast of Jenkintown MS/HS brought the story of four different tales to life. Those tales consisted of �Little Red Riding Hood�, �Cinderella�, �Jack and the Beanstalk� and �Rapunzel�.

As they brought these tales to life, the cast kept an exciting energy throughout the play with some comical relief as well. That energy and comical relief the actors emoted helped anchored this musical production. That stirring energy was not only witnessed in the actors, but also through the animated and vibrant set design the tech and stage crew had so marvelously constructed as it gave the play more effect. For instance, how the crew added the special effects of trees in the background to present that mysterious feeling of the woods, or the one with the giant�s voice and the audio imagery of her stomping on houses. All of this brought the production more and more to life. In addition to the tech crew exhibiting that exotic energy, the orchestra contributed significantly to this as well. The orchestra added more effect to the play as they would play the emotion the scene is trying to convey as they also helped with the transition of scenes.

Some highlights from a few scenes of the lead actors were altogether enjoyable to see. One comical scene was when the Baker helped free Granny and Little Red from the Wolf�s stomach as they popped out the bed from under the covers. The lead actors played their characters well and at some point through the play expressed a more powerful and different emotion other than just happiness like frustration and sadness. For instance, when the Mystery Man and the Baker had a heart-felt conversation in the duet of �No More�. Not only did the lead actors exhibit this, but the supporting cast did as well.

Regarding the supporting cast vocalists, they did well as they remembered their lyrics, however some might forget a line or two which were slightly noticeable at times like in the second act of �Agony�. However, for remembering such fast and long songs like �The Spell is on my House� or �Into the Woods� could not be such an easy task to accomplish. Some of �Into the Woods� intriguing and comical songs were �Agony� in the first act, �It Takes Two�, �Stay With Me� and �Into the Woods� as they either incorporated depth or comical relief. Good job to all lead and supporting vocalists in this musical production such as Charlie Mangan and Alicia McCarthy in �It Takes Two�, and Avery Misinkavitch and Maggie Farr in �Stay With Me�. Overall, this musical production of �Into the Woods� was ultimately a success, and a fun and fascinating musical production to witness and encounter.

by Gianni Rowley of Delaware County Christian School


Every storybook fairytale swoops into a whimsical parallel universe of glittering princesses, valiant heroes, and an magnetizing happily ever after. Yet, Jenkintown High School�s rendition of Into the Woods not only provokes the wide-eyed child in its audience members, but captures the reality of the consequences of wishes.

Dated back to 1986, Stephen Sondheim�s musical Into the Woods hypnotized its audiences in an intermixed plot of infamous fables, hitting Broadway in 1997. The musical promotes a refreshing yet revealing plot, focusing on a baker and his wife�s quest to birth a child. However, their crusade for a child winds them up in an entanglement of familiar tales as all the characters are collectively searching for the wishes to obtain happiness.

The entirety of the cast did not fail to deliver, invoking both comedy and mixed emotions through conflicted characters. The production humored its audience with personas such as the ensemble of the stepsisters, played by Laura Dibble and Yusra Ali, whose playfulness provided comical relief. Their energy and discorded relationship erupted the crowd in laughter especially when both came strutting in with walking sticks and shaded sunglasses.

The realistic chemistry between Charlie Mangan (The Baker) and Alicia McCarthy (The Baker�s Wife) was unmissable, their voices fitting together like puzzle pieces. The unforgettable �It Takes Two� duet was seemingly a masterpiece when Mangan�s rich vocals were paired with McCarthy�s sugary singing voice. Mangan portrayed the Baker�s perseverance and heartache divinely through the chase for a child and through the mourning of his wife. McCarthy created the Baker�s Wife adoration for her husband authentically through simple yearning looks and through heartfelt embraces.

Utter captivation for the production was held in The Witch�s hands, played by Avery Misinkavitch, whose powerful voice and comedic attributes left the audience wanting more. From the moment Misinkavitch stepped on stage in shabby rags to her adaption of �The Last Midnight�, the crowd had their eyes on her like a magnet. Her presence was both spellbinding and chilling through the strident tonality to display the Witch�s voice and through her haunting emotion and rage.

Lastly, many technical attributes were very dynamic and innovative such as the set build and the sound. Throughout most of the musical, the construction of the set was a stone tower and forest backdrop, but the crew was ingenious to create three mini sets for the three main tales of the production. While there was the occasional microphone mishap, the show was brought to life with sound effects such as the voice of the Giant (Courtney Todaro) or the chirping of Cinderella�s birds.

Jenkintown High School�s cast of Into the Woods glided their audience �Into the Woods� with a whirlwind of an unusual yet sensational thrill of a fantasy!

by Madeleine Coury  of Delaware County Christian School


�Once a upon a time in a far off kingdom, there lay a small village at the edge of the woods.�

The story of the Baker and his wife, Jack and Cinderella was pleasantly portrayed by the cast and crew of Jenkintown High School. Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim by a book written by James Lapine. The story ties together many original stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel. Cinderella, and Jack and the Beanstalk. They added one original story about the Baker and his wife who are struggling to have a child and the witch who cursed their family. Into the Woods was first introduced in San Diego in 1986 and after 50 shows, it made it to Broadway in 1987.

The passion and energy of the cast was very much delivered to the audience throughout the entire performance. Although there wasn�t as much appearance of the ensemble, when they did, they filled the stage with their beautiful voices. One ensemble group that stood out exceptionally was the step sisters (Yusra Ali and Laura Dibble). Their comic relief really tied the musical together and were memorable.

The chemistry between the baker (Charlie Mangan) and his wife (Alicia McCarthy) held the audience�s hearts and hands through the ups and downs of their relationship. Out of all their scenes, one song that really stood out between the baker and his wife was �It Takes Two�. The song showed their sincerity and the love for each other which was truly inspiring. Their tone and acting seemed so real it grabbed the attention of the audience every time they appeared on stage.

Avery Misinkavitch�s portrayal of the Witch was phenomenal and really carried the show. Her presence captured the eyes of the audience and every movement of hers was so captivating. She was the root of the musical. Later when she was transformed from the old witch to younger witch and still maintained her character even with just her tone. Jack (Ethan Walters) demonstrated his vocal and dramatic skills. He portrayed the dynamics of his characters exceptionally. His facial expressions showed his sincerity. The two characters really carried the show.

There were small problems with spotty mics and visible scene changes and the sets could have been more playful but overall the show was steady. The lead actors and actresses really were the roots of the show.

Overall, Jenkintown High School did a good job on bringing together the traditional fairy tales into one great musical.

by Sunny (Yoon Ha) Shin of Delaware County Christian School


Into the Woods, written by Stephen Sondheim, is a musical in which the plots of several fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault are intertwined and weaved into one another to introduce one dramatic, whimsical, and beautifully thought-out musical. The main characters include those from "Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and "Cinderella," as well as from several other fairy tales. The seemingly unrelated characters are tied together by a story about a baker, his wife, and their journey to have a child while battling against an evil witch who seems determined to keep the couple from having their family. The musical debuted in 1986 and premiered on Broadway in 1987, where it went on to win several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book, and Best Actress in a Musical.

The overall production of this show was strong. Despite the longevity of the show, the leads kept the audience involved and excited to see what happens next.

The vocal ability of most of the lead actors and actresses, particularly junior Charlie Mangan as The Baker, senior Alicia McCarthy as The Baker�s Wife, and senior Ethan Walters as Jack, was extremely impressive. Sophomore Mattie McNamara as Little Red Riding Hood displayed clear confidence and professionalism in her acting ability, and her overall persona and facial expressions added to her stellar performance. Sophomore Maria Cotsis as Cinderella showed great promise as an actor and a performer, and her voice was adequately suited to take on Sondheim�s difficult scores. Senior Avery Misinkavitch as The Witch certainly delivered a performance to be remembered, especially in such an emotional and complex role. The leads� performance in No One Is Alone was truly a crowd favorite. Overall, given the grueling difficulty of the songs in this show, each of the leads displayed great talent and the ability to adapt to their individual role.

The supporting actors and actresses displayed great promise in their roles, and clear evidence of talent. The Wolf, played by senior Mia Westkaemper, showed impressive vocal ability and overall acting skills. The duo of princes, played by sophomore Danny Wescott and freshman James Gans, provided excellent comic relief in their performance of Agony.

Technically speaking, the lighting was fairly simple. The microphones were frequently spotty, which at times made it difficult to hear lines and songs. The costumes were absolutely phenomenal however, and definitely added to the believably and quality of the show. The makeup was basic, but well executed; The makeup of the Wolf was realistic and well-done.

Overall, Jenkintown High School should be very proud of the show that they have put on, especially with the obvious space constraints. The cast used the stage to their advantage, and there was not a time where the stage appeared too empty or too full. Best of luck to the graduating seniors in whatever you may choose to pursue in your lifetime -- you are a truly talented bunch.

by Abby Pancoast of Marple Newtown High School


Jenkintown MS/HS's production of James Lapine's book and Stephen Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods" reawakens admiration for childhood fairy tales.  As the story follows a Baker and his wife into the woods, you experience the twisted reality of the selfishness you can expose when you wish for something you want. After agreeing to a deal with The Witch (Avery Misinkavitch), the couple must find "the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold". The meaning of this riddle is found in the interesting characters they meet along the way. The personality of each Little Red, Jack, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and The Princes is released in the woods, the woods show the best and the worst of everyone.

The cast of Jenkintown conveys the meaningful themes in the show excellently. The emphasis on the definition of nice being different than good, and you grow to be how you were raised. The production as a whole seemed well put together and made it very easy to follow the difficult storyline.

The Baker (Charlie Mangan) and Baker's wife (Alicia McCarthy) had realistic chemistry, and projected issues in a relationship in a life-like fashion. "It Takes Two" was an adorable number both acting and vocally that really brought out the personal loving side of their characters. Avery Misinkavitch as the Witch was a very loved/hated character. Even when you hated the character, you loved the way she played such a raw and truth speaking role.

Supporting leads such as Little Red, Jack, and Cinderella handled the difficulty of Sondheim's score well. For the females some notes were burdensome to execute with power, however they were able to adjust to the hardship. The larger ensemble had limited stage time, but utilized it with a good amount of energy. The finale was a well organized number that made you wish the show wasn't ending.

Even though there were technical difficulties with sound and microphones, the cast was able to surpass this and seamlessly continue with the show. The set was very creative, even though it was rather simple it reminded me of a very traditional or classic set which was sweet and followed the idea of the storyline being classic fairy tales. Creativity followed through into the costumes as well. Cinderella's mother's tree costume was elegant and represented the peacefulness of the character, and the Wolf's jazzy mysterious number "Hello, Little Girl" was shown into the costume with black long sharp nails, a fedora with ears, and fur leg warmers.

The level of difficulty of this production was high, but Jenkintown performed well and kept the audience's interest throughout the whole show.

by Belle Galante of Marple Newtown High School


Jenkintown High School performed a wonderful adaptation of Into the Woods, the story of how our favorite storybook characters venture� well into the woods to achieve different goals. Even though they had a small stage, their simple, yet effective sets and talented leads brought Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine�s tale to life. I was pleasantly surprised by the vocal abilities of most of the leads considering the small size of the cast. It was a shame that the mics were sometimes spotty, making it difficult to hear the casts amazing voices.

The Baker and the Baker�s Wife were absolutely adored by the audience. The Baker, Charlie Mangan, had such a strong stage presence and a powerful voice and Alicia McCarthy, who played the Baker�s Wife, also captured the viewers attention with her witty one liners and excellent delivery of her lines. Their chemistry together was undeniable and mesmerizing to watch. Laughter ensued when they sang It Takes Two and tears were held back when they performed their solo in Children will Listen. It also stands to address the incredible vocal and acting abilities of the Witch. She was a delightful villain, especially in Last Midnight where she had all of the audience on the edge of their seats. Cinderella, Jack, and Little Red Riding Hood also did great jobs and paired well together when they sang No One is Alone.

All in all, Jenkintown deserves recognition for their talented cast. They chose a long, difficult show to perform, especially with the small size of their stage and cast, and made the best out of it. Their talent showed throughout their performance and moved the story along gracefully. They did Into the Woods justice.

by Blake Jelus of Marple Newtown High School


Most everyone has fond memories of reading the various fables and fairy-tales retold by the Brothers Grimm; however, some come to feel that they have become too "grown-up" to properly enjoy these stories anymore. Jenkintown Middle/High School's production of "Into the Woods" proves just the contrary.

"Into the Woods" is the result of a collaboration between librettist James Lapine and composer Stephen Sondheim, premiering on Broadway in 1987. Being a Sondheim show, the music is generally difficult, filled with many "jumps" between notes. The story, set in an amalgamation of Brothers Grimm stories, follows a baker and his wife, who work desperately to undo a curse of infertility set upon them by a witch; along the way, they encounter and interact with the subjects of various fairy-tales, like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. All ends well, until Jack from "Jack & The Beanstalk" incurs the wrath of a vengeful giant. From here, the mettle of the characters is tested as they attempt to find a way to halt the giant's rampage.

At Jenkintown Middle/High School, the entire cast brought the colorful and quirky, but surprisingly deep cast of characters alive on stage with fantastic energy; the Witch, played by Avery Misinkavitch, is a very complex and conflicted sort of character, who is tormented by a strained relationship with her daughter and longs for the return of her beauty. Throughout the show, the Witch becomes noticeably unhinged, particularly after the death of her daughter, and begins to be increasingly upset and aggressive towards the rest of the cast, until she disappears with the powerful song, "Last Midnight". Misinkavitch played this character wonderfully, being quirky and amusing in the first act, but showing a more flawed and human side to her character during the second act, all the while lending her magnificent voice to the part. Charlie Mangan portrayed the Baker, an honest sort of man pushed to his extremes by circumstance. The complexities of the Baker truly come out during the s
econd act, where he grapples with the prospect of being a single father after the death of his wife. Mangan masterfully displayed this side of his character, as well as his impressive vocals, during the song, "No More". The Baker's Wife, played by Alicia McCarthy, demonstrated yet another complex character with demanding vocals, which she portrayed very well, especially the character's wit. Jack and Little Red Riding Hood were played by Ethan Walters and Mattie McNamara, respectively. Both brought their own charm and humor to these childish characters during scenes like Little Red Riding Hood's temper tantrum or Jack's dimwitted goodbye to his cow, but, like the rest of the cast, displayed the complexities of their characters during the second act, evident in "No One is Alone". Other standouts include Maria Cotsis as Cinderella, who lent her wonderful vocals to the part, and Isabelle Stec-Sala as Little Red Riding Hood's Granny, who carried a pleasantly comic presence onstage and even remained in character during scene changes.

The set consisted of three pieces, each being a location the main characters originated from, like the Baker's house or Cinderella's chamber. After the prologue, these places would be turned around, and face Rapunzel's tower, creating a wall around the base of the tower. This change felt natural, and was a smart decision on behalf of the stage crew. The sound of the show was, for as much as the crew could control, good, but plagued by constant dead-zones onstage, which unfortunately resulted in some lines and verses of actors being dropped. In addition, Amanda Kroll, the make-up artist, did very well with her work on the make-up of the Big Bad Wolf, whose make-up consisted of sideburns (which were reminiscent of fur), as well as animal-esque features.

Overall, Jenkintown's production of "Into the Woods" was vastly enjoyable, supported by their wonderful cast; rife with moments both lightheartedly fun and, dare I say it, "Grimm", the production translated well the whimsical, yet dark world that Lapine and Sondheim envisioned on to a high school stage.

by Josh Myers of Marple Newtown High School


What do Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack, and a fruitless couple, have in common? They each have a wish and they will stop at nothing to fulfill it. Into the Woods tells the story of how a mysterious woods brings these characters together, and teaches them the real consequences of only looking out for number one.

Jenkintown High School's production of Into the Woods was absolutely charming, well rehearsed, and filled with talent and passion. Impressive vocals by Avery Misinkavitch (The Witch), Charlie Mangan (The Baker), and Alicia McCarthy (Baker's Wife) carried the show. Mangan and McCarthy's realistic chemistry as The Baker and his wife paired with their well timed comic delivery had the audience "aww"ing, laughing and overall falling in love with the characters and the story. The two full ensemble numbers were energized and powerful; it really kept the excitement throughout the show. There was never a dull moment, each scene a twist and turn, or a powerful musical number, the audience was fully engaged the whole time. Smooth transitions and little sound interruptions allowed the audience to sit back and really get lost in the story. Over all Jenkintown High School's production was energetic, comical, well paced, and most of all filled with talent.

by Kat Hallinan of Marple Newtown High School


Jenkintown High School�s fall musical Into the Woods is an exciting melting pot of all your favorite fairytales. The story begins when The Witch played by Avery Misinkavitch casts a spell on a humble baker, keeping him from having a child. To break the spell, The Baker played by Charlie Mangan, must travel Into the Woods collecting an item from each fairytale- Cinderella�s slipper, Jack�s white cow, Rapunzel�s golden hair, and Little Red�s hood. These beloved characters all weave in and out of the story, making for a refreshing take on the classic tales.

The cast and crew at Jenkintown did a wonderful job of fitting a giant production onto their small stage. The Witch, Avery Misinkavitch, displays eloquent vocals in her songs like Last Midnight. The Baker and his wife, Charlie Mangan and Alicia McCarthy express their conflicted, up and down relationship well in It Takes Two and Maybe Their Magic.

The supporting characters push the leads through choices and trials, advancing the story. Both Cinderella and Jack, played by Maria Cotsis and Ethan Walters, deserve mention for their smooth voices and Little Red, Mattie McNamara, for her comedic delivery and expressions.

Jenkintown High School�s set was a real highlight. The story begins with a three small wooden walls, separating the three stories. Once the characters move into the woods, the three walls spin into one castle wall. Jenkintown�s crew did a fantastic job transitioning through an intricate story with the supplies they had, which was essential to follow the plotline.

This show will not soon be forgotten. The jokes caused uproar and the songs, remained singing in all of our heads. Congratulations to Jenkintown High School on a great, refreshing production.

by Scotty Kauffman of Marple Newtown High School


Jenkintown High School took on a big task in producing the show �Into the Woods�. The show called for a large cast, and with an understudy filling in for one of the lead roles, Jenkintown did well under the circumstances.

The show features many different elements from other fairy tales, and stories, such as, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, but with a twist. A giant threatens to destroy the kingdom, and they can only defeat her if they work together.

The vocals of �The Baker�, played by Charlie Mangan, were truly superb, standing out in many musical numbers, along with Alicia McCarthy, �The Baker�s Wife�. Alicia gave a strong performance overall, showing why she was cast as one of the lead roles. The two gave a strong performance in the number �It Takes Two�, and in other numbers throughout the show. Maria Cotsis gave a very strong performance in her portrayal of �Cinderella�. Maria�s vocals were wonderful, often carrying others in group numbers. Ethan Walters gave a great performance as the role of �Jack�. Ethan showed his talent in the number �Giants in the Sky�, which was one of the stand out numbers throughout the entire show. Lastly, Avery Misinkavitch gave an incredible performance as �The Witch�. Avery was truly encapsulated in her role, giving a strong acting performance, and along with great vocals, gave the stand out performance of the night. The number �Last Midnight�, was arguably the best of the show, with Av
ery giving an excellent performance.

The show contained a simple set, which worked very well, and the lighting was admirable. There were some issues with sound, and some of the scene changes were not the best, but, they did not take away from the show. Overall Jenkintown�s performance was solid, with individuals displaying their true talent throughout.

by David Hurly of The Haverford School


On November 11th Jenkintown High School performed Into the Woods by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim. In the play, the baker (Charlie Mangan) and his wife (Alicia McCarthy) must find four items in the woods to lift a curse from a witch (Avery Misinkavitch). While searching for these items, they cross paths with Jack (Ethan Walters), Little Red Riding Hood (Maddie McNamara), Cinderella (Maria Cotsis), and Rapunzel (Maggie Farr). The play ends with a wonderful musical number that includes the entire company.

The play featured some amazing musical numbers. Some of the best were Prologue: Into The Woods (company), Agony (Danny Wescott and James Gans), and Last Midnight (Avery Misinkavitch). Avery Misinkavitch�s vocals really carried the show and Charlie Mangan�s vocals stood out and were a highlight.

The acting was mostly believable. It was a long show and for the most part the acting was well done. Avery Misinkavitch did a wonderful job as the witch and she threw in some comedic acting. Charlie Mangan was always in character and was very aware on stage. Alicia McCarthy was one of the strongest actresses in the play. The two narrators (Maddie Coffin and Ben Danilak) did a very great job at keeping the actors engaged and carrying the story forward. The Grandmother (Isabelle Stec-Sala) did a wonderful job staying in character by walking slowly at all times.

The set design was simple but well done. It kept the audience engaged with the scenes. The makeup really added to the play as well. The Wolf (Mia Westkaemper) had amazing makeup and a great costume. Some other great costumes were Cinderella�s, the witch�s and the two princes'. The tree had a very beautiful costume as well.

Overall, the play was well done and I would recommend it.

by Jack Molitor of The Haverford School


Jenkintown High School�s production of "Into the Woods" was a pleasant surprise. A small school, Jenkintown has few students, making it more difficult to put on a successful show. Despite this, the show kept me interested and into the story throughout.

A number of actors shined, such as Charlie Mangan, who played the Baker, and Alicia McCarthy, who played The Baker's Wife. The two were desperate to lift a spell, and the desperation they felt was visible on their faces. The pair stole the show, displaying their ability to keep an audience engaged throughout a two hour plus show. Another impressive job was done by Avery Misinkavitch, who payed "The Witch." Her character was also desperate to lift a curse. Avery's singing ability kept me wishing that her songs would never end. It was hard to find actors or characters who were weak in the production. Even the understudies seemed to have a good grasp on how to perform. The show itself is generous in giving even small characters their own songs, giving each actor ample opportunities to display their talents, something they did with ease.

I very greatly enjoyed seeing "Into the Woods" at Jenkintown High School. Everything from lighting to sound was nearly perfected. Being a high school show, the production did have its difficulties, but I never found the show's mistakes to be a distraction. The actors had no issue singing alongside live instruments, either. The show as a whole provided a very good experience for all who had the privilege of watching it.

by Jack Roarty of The Haverford School


Grimm�s fairy tales have been a part of the literature scene since the early 1800s. With stories such as Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and many others, the collection has entertained both adults and children for centuries. Jenkintown High School has shellacked these stories together into a delightful rendition of Into The Woods.

The musical, written in 1986 by Stephen Sondheim, follows a Baker and his wife as they try to lift the curse on their household; a Witch trying to regain her beauty; a child trying to save his mother from wretchedness; and a young orphan trying to go to the prince�s ball. These characters and more rush into the ubiquitous woods to try to find the answers to their problems and the solutions to the woes.

The production itself was enjoyable. The actors were energetic, and brought the broad spectrum of characters to a colorful stage. Characters easily blend with the audience�s space, and the actors were comfortable creating levels, and the blocking was enjoyable.

This production�s success was due mainly to the hard work of many of the talented actors on the stage. Avery Misinkavitch's Witch easily bedazzled the crowds, using her soaring vocals to cover vast tracts of music and character work. Charlie Mangan and Alicia McCarthy, playing the Baker and Baker�s Wife respectively, wowed the audience with their well-performed duets and chemistry. Mattie McNamara skillfully added comedy of Little Red Riding Hood�s part, eliciting laughter from the audience and praise for her singing.

The cast was rounded out by the terrific work of Cinderella�s stepfamily, Caitlin Frazee, Laura Dibble, Yusra Ali, mixing together to create comedic fun.

All in all, the cast�s energy remained high throughout the production, often difficult seeing the length of the show was close to three hours. Although sometimes the songs were a little off-key, and the words a little difficult to remember, especially during duets, the actors were energetic and never let the issues throw them off of their game.

The set, sound, and makeup were all well done. The set�s simplistic nature made it easy to transition from scene to scene, and the lighting alternated from neutral to harsh red. The sound design mixed prerecorded effects with the live orchestra, although there was the constant threat of a mic dropping one or two lines. The makeup did a terrific job, especially with the Wolf�s shady facial structure.

In all, this performance was a pleasure to be in the audience for. The actors did their jobs well, and it was delightful.

by William Russell of The Haverford School


Once upon a time the students at Jenkintown Middle School/High School produced Stephen Sondheim�s �Into the Woods� in a magical and mystical way that left audiences wishing for more. The twisted tales of famous fairytale folks brought bright smiles and adoration from the audience.

�Into the Woods� is a musical, originally produced in 1986, with music and lyric by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine. The story takes the original Brothers Grimm�s fairy tales and causes them to intertwine when a childless baker and his wife go on a quest in order to have a child. The quest includes finding a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as gold as gold so who else would they meet besides Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (before his beanstalk) and a handful of other characters.

Sondheim�s music is tricky to perform so these artists have tackled difficult material. Charlie Mangan, in the role of The Baker, was a powerful presence who maintained control of the stage. It was interesting to see his insecure and hesitant Baker from �Maybe They�re Magic (Reprise)� transform into a true leader by �No One is Alone.� Alicia McCarthy as The Baker�s Wife was a genuine performance that showed the sincerity of a woman who only wanted the best for herself and her small family. McCarthy�s comedic timing also stood out as a hilarious highlight of the show. Avery Misinkatvitch�s portrayal of The Witch was spell-binding. Her voice captivated the audience as she cooed out ballads like �Stay With Me� and  �Last Midnight�.

Maria Cotsis charmed the audience with the rags-to riches-back to rags Cinderella. Little Red Riding Hood and Jack portrayed by Mattie McNamara and Ethan Walters, respectively, played well off of each other and other performers throughout the show. Isabelle Stec-Sala�s commitment to the Grandmother was notable because she maintained her gait even during scene transitions. The ensemble added their own charm to larger numbers, specifically �Children Will Listen� where their voices helped to portray the moral of the musical.

The sound team worked rigorously to balance several microphones and sounds cues throughout the show and executed most of them to the best of their ability, given the circumstances. The sets were simple but ideal since they allowed the actors plenty of room to move about the stage (and the audience) with ease.  The lighting helped to dramatize the action on stage as well.

I know things now, many valuable things, like the students at Jenkintown Middle School/High School really know how to put on a show.

by Aaliyah Warrington of The Philadelphia HS for Creative & Performing Arts - CAPA


Into the Woods was a delightful, family friendly show with an ensemble of memorable characters and a beautiful set.

Into the Woods is a story of different fairy tales and fables colliding together, all sharing one commonality: the woods. The show starts with three separate storylines, but eventually, they all come together by the end of Act 1. Cinderella wants to go to the ball. Little Red Riding Hood wants to get to her grandmother�s house. Jack has to choose between food for his family or his animal best friend, and The Baker and his wife have to find four strange items so that the Witch can grant them a child.

There were many amazing performances, especially standouts like Avery Misinkavitch (who played the role of the Witch), Alicia McCarthy (who played the Baker�s Wife) and Charlie Mangan (who played the Baker). Sondheim�s music is notoriously known for being difficult to master, but Avery sang challenging songs, such as �The Witch�s Rap�, as if it was her second language. Her stunning vocals, paired with her astonishing characterization made for an unforgettable performance. Alicia McCarthy and Charlie Mangan were truly a dynamic duo. They complimented each other well, while still having standout performances of their own.

The set (designed by Mia Westkamper and Daniel Wescott) was absolutely gorgeous. The way that they decided to demonstrate the three separate houses in the prologue was very clever. The lights (designed by Corren Kennebrae, Isabelle Stec-Sala and Kerrin McSherry) were able to perfectly capture the time and the mood of each scene, and make the audience feel as if we�re really in the woods. The costumes were one of the other highlights of the show.

Jenkintown School District�s production of Into the Woods was a joyful, fun-filled experience fit for the whole family.

by Alex Phillips of The Philadelphia HS for Creative & Performing Arts - CAPA


Follow a childless couple, a naive young girl, a house maid, and a boy and his cow through the woods in Jenkintown High School�s production of Into the Woods. A mixture of Grimm�s Fairy Tales and Charles Perrault Fairy Tales, Into the Woods centers around a baker and his wife and their journey to reverse the curse that has left them childless.

The interior of small houses that were used throughout the show gave great insight into the background of the character�s they belonged to, and using those houses together to create the base of Rapunzel�s tower was an innovative use of space, time and materials. The simple lighting and design of the main setting of the woods, really gave the actors a chance to shine while still giving the atmosphere necessary for the show.

This high energy cast payed special attention to characterization, taking character quirks through the entire performance. The attention to little details such as Granny's� hobble, Florinda and Lucinda�s stiff walk and Jack�s look of general confusion helped the audience to stay in the world of the play. One of the highlights was the portrayal of the relationship between The Baker and The Baker�s Wife played by Charlie Mangan and Alicia McCarthy who worked beautifully together, small touches and expressions between the actors almost had you convinced they�d been married for years. Another duo that worked extremely well was Cinderella�s Prince played by Danny Wescott and Rapunzel�s Prince played by James Gans, who really played up the comedy in their duets and had the audience in an uproar. The cast also featured amazing vocalists in Cinderella (Maria Cotsis), Little Red Riding Hood (Mattie McNamara), The Witch (Avery Misinkavitch), and The Baker and The Baker�s Wife.

Overall, Jenkintown High School�s production of Into the Woods was a beautiful, high energy show full of talented students who succeeded in bringing all your favorite fairy tales to life.

by JuliannaD Kissling of The Philadelphia HS for Creative & Performing Arts - CAPA


"Into the Woods" tells a story about a Baker and Baker�s wife who go on an adventure to find four ingredients and bring them to a witch in the woods by three midnights in order to reverse a curse set upon the Baker�s house and for them to have a child.  The story brings together many characters including Cinderella, Cinderella�s Prince, the Evil Step Sisters, the Evil Step-Mother, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Rapunzel�s Prince, Jack from Jack & The Bean Stalk, and a Mysterious Man (who turns out to be the Baker�s Father and the one who stole from the Witch a long time ago, leading the Witch to take the Baker's sister, Rapunzel). By the end of Act I, the Baker and his wife successfully bring the four ingredients to the Witch so that she can become beautiful again.  The Baker and his wife in return have a son, Cinderella becomes a princess and Jack is able to provide for his mother.

In Act II, the main characters don�t feel so happy about their happy endings. Then the Witch comes back to the Baker and the Baker�s wife to tell him that his trees are destroyed by a female giant because Jack killed her husband and she wants revenge.  After the tragic event of Jack�s mother and the Baker�s wife dying, the Witch finds Jack and wants to give Jack to the giant so that they all don�t die.  However Little Red Hood, the Baker and Cinderella refuse to give Jack to the giant.  The Witch disappears leaving the four of them to solve the matter themselves.  The Baker realizes he is left alone to take care of the baby by himself, Cinderella no longer wants to be a princess anymore because she found out her prince kissed the Baker�s wife in the woods, and Jack and Little Riding Hood realize that they are all by themselves now. After the four of them successfully take down the giant, they all decide to live together at the Baker's house.

I really enjoyed Charlie Mangan as The Baker.  As the lead actor, his singing and acting was phenomenal.  I also really enjoyed Avery Misinkavitch as The Witch.  This supporting actress gave me goose bumps when she surprising appeared on stage.  I enjoyed her great singing range, especially in "Last Midnight", and "Stay with Me". I really enjoyed the costumes, hair and makeup.  Unfortunately, there was a malfunction with the microphone for Cinderella's Prince and the Tree that was Cinderella's dead mother. Overall, I really enjoyed all of the actors and actresses on stage.  There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

by Xavion Collier of The Philadelphia HS for Creative & Performing Arts - CAPA

No comments:

Post a Comment