Broadway World Article
New Jump Encore! Announces full cast and crew for exciting small cast production of Into The Woods at Hunsader Farms!
The newly expanded Jump Encore! has announced its full cast and creative team for their inaugural production of Into the Woods! Jump Encore! has been producing children’s productions for the last 8 years as part of Jump Dance Company in Lakewood Ranch. As previously announced, beginning this Fall, Jump Encore! will begin producing professional adult productions around the Sarasota and Bradenton area. They are so excited to kick off their new program with Into The Woods, which features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine.
Sondheim and Lapine take everyone's favorite storybook characters and brings them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic.
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.
This re-envisoned classic will be pared down to a cast of 11, featuring exciting new staging, costume designs, and a stunning set design assisted by the perfectly situated trees at the Hunsader Farms stage at 5500 Co Rd 675, Bradenton, FL 34211. The production opens on November 11, 2021 and runs through November 14, 2021. All performances will begin at 7pm. Hunsader Farms will be providing pre show experiences as well as concessions prior to the show and at intermission. Tickets will be general admission or you can purchase a reserved VIP table. Jump Encore! recommends brining camping chairs if bench seating is not preferred. Tickets and more information can be found at www.JumpEncore.com. The venue is located outdoors to help with COVID-19 precautions and they will evaluate further safety measures closer to the performance in accordance with Safe Arts Sarasota.
Into the Woods will be directed by Jessica Lyndsie Babcock and Cory Boyas. Emily Croome will serve as music director and leader of the 3 musician pit for the shows. Additionally, Alisha Tyler-Lohr will stage manage as well as Ethan Vail assisting as lighting designer.
The 11 person cast is made up of many of the gulf coasts most prominent performers. Derek Brookens and Danae DeShazer return to the area after traveling the country performing for several years as The Baker and The Bakers Wife. Kelly Leissler, a favorite at many local theaters, will portray The Witch and Tampa resident/MPAC favorite Melanie Bierweiler plays Cinderella. Completing the cast are MSA senior Josh Devine as Jack, Jessica Lyndsie Babcock doubles up as co director and Little Red Riding Hood, Todd Maddex as Cinderella's Prince/Wolf, Ashley Figlow as Rapunzel, Tanner Fults as Rapunzel's Prince, Danielle Snelling as Jacks Mother/Cinderella's Stepmother, and Chris Caswell as The Mysterious Man/Others. Cast members will portray several roles and will assist the story along with creative story telling devices featuring abstract set and prop pieces.
Co- Director Jessica Babcock is an instructor at Jump Dance Company and has been assisting with the children’s productions at Jump Encore! the past 8 years. She is also spearheading the expansion of the Jump Encore! professional performance company. A graduate of Booker VPA, Jessica has been seen in productions all across the Sarasota and Bradenton area as well as assisting behind the scenes as dance captain and wig stylist/costume assistant. She has been seen as Jeanie in Hair at Venice Theatre directed by Ben Vereen, Martha Dunstock in Heathers the Musical, and Head Over Heels at The Players Centre for Performing Arts. Before moving to FL in 2013, her family ran a successful children’s theater company in Albany, NY for over 10 years producing area premiers at the time such as Legally Blonde, Shrek, and 13 The Musical featuring original broadway cast member Corey Snide.
"Into the Woods has always been a favorite show of mine and I am so excited to bring this new and exciting production to life at the amazing Hunsader Farms" says Babcock. "I think one of the things I am most excited about is being able to strip the show back to only the necessary items to be able to truly focus on the story and the deep meanings that can sometimes go unnoticed. Our team has been brainstorming daily as well as taking notes from other small theaters like Fiasco and Area Stage to begin developing creative and exciting new ideas for this production as well as forming our new mission for our programs. Jump Encore! Is excited to start producing productions that audiences of all ages in Sarasota and Bradenton haven't seen before! Especially after the struggles we have all gone through the last year and a half, we are not only excited for our audience members to be able to enjoy safe theatre but also for our actors who haven't been onstage since prior to the pandemic. Our mission is to educate and stimulate the minds and imaginations of our audience of all ages through high-quality productions, year-round education, and community outreach. Into The Woods is the perfect inaugural production to show what we're about!"
Director Cory Boyas has worked extensively in New York City and Europe, choreographing the Off-Broadway cult hit Rock-A-My-Soul, and teaching at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. He served as dance captain for the Broadway production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, STOMP, Crazy For You, and the pre-Broadway production of Fosse, later recreating the original Bob Fosse choreography for the National Tour of Sweet Charity. Cory served as the Artistic Director for the prestigious Balletschülle Theatergassen in Bamberg, Germany, and has directed and choreographed numerous area productions, including [title of show], Nunsense, Damn Yankees, Joseph...Dreamcoat, Hairspray, Nine, Will Rogers Follies, Peter and the Starcatcher, Disney’s Beauty & The Beast, I Love You..Now Change, Bye Bye Birdie, Sugar Babies, City Of Angels, Music Man, and South Pacific.
“My favorite styles of storytelling have always been the most primitive forms. When I first started directing, I often had very small budgets to work within, and that forced me to find creative solutions to problems very early on. I fell in love with that process of stripping away everything which wasn’t essential and letting the audience fill in the gaps with their imagination, leaning heavily on the talent of the storytellers to get the audience’s buy-in.” Boyas tells us.
“Live theatre is the only outlet where we can achieve a true willing suspension of disbelief, and I wanted to re-capture that sense of make believe from the audience, which is so strong within each of us as children, and often forgotten as adults. I love that we can take a few planks of wood, a couple of sawhorses and some chairs, and the audience will imagine with us that they’re castle walls, trees, tables, horses, a carriage, and so on. All of life’s questions are answered in Into The Woods. There’s a certain moral ambiguity to the piece. It asks the audience, “How far would you go to get your wish, and what are the consequences of that wish?”
Jump Encore! and their production of Into The Woods is made possible by their sponsors Jump Dance Company and Hunsader Farms. If you would like to be involved with Jump Encore, visit our website at www.jumpencore.com