PC's Into the Woods: An Inside Look with Catie Capolongo

            On Sunday, April 23 I had the pleasure of attending a matinee viewing of PC’s spring musical, Into the Woods.  The production focuses on several of everyone’s favorite childhood fairytales (Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk, just to name a few) and how their stories all align when they venture into the woods.  The storyline offers a much more adult-oriented view on your traditional fairytale stories, and human vices not normally shown in the protagonists are put on display.  The characters, despite being completely frustrated with one another, must put their differences aside in order to solve a world-threatening problem (featuring angry giants).  My roommate, Catie Capolongo, absolutely KILLED it in her role as Jack’s Mom in the Jack and the Beanstalk storyline.  Bearing her thick New York accent while continually nagging poor Jack, Catie had the crowd reflecting on their own childhood confrontations with their mothers and thanking God that we’re grown up and (barring summer) out of the household.  After lots of hugs, flowers, and a celebratory dinner, I sat down with Catie to hear her experience of the entire Into the Woods production, both on stage and behind the scenes.

 

So Catie, what was the most exciting scene in which your character took part? 

            I really liked the scene when I was talking to the Baker’s wife alone on stage.  Even though it was short, it was my favorite because I got to run into the audience and engage with them.  It was also one of my funnier scenes, and I really enjoyed interacting with those outside of the storyline.

 

Were there any interesting malfunctions that occurred onstage, either to you or one of your cast mates?

            Ohhh God, yeah.  One of the actors forgot his cue.  It was just the witch and myself onstage and we NEVER interact with each other, so our storylines never cross.  We were both waiting onstage and it took a minute (which is a long time to do nothing onstage) for the actor to come out.  To waste time, I went and walked around pretending to look for my lost son, Jack.  I kept looking back at the witch until she finally improvised and conversed with my character.  I had a mini panic attack, not gonna lie. It was definitely an “oh sh**” moment.

 

In your opinion, what was the best musical number of the entire show?

            The finale, for sure.  It always gave my boyfriend (who played a wolf in the Red Riding Hood storyline) and me the chills when we performed it.  It was so powerful.

 

Did you and the rest of the cast have any pre-show rituals?

            Yes!  First, we get together and do warm-ups before we dress in costume.  Then, after our costumers are on, we come together in what we call “circle” and somebody leads with a motivational speech that should get us all hyped up for the performance.  Finally, we say prayer before we go on stage.  The girls and guys also each have their own secret rituals right before taking the stage, but they’d kill me if I told sooo…

 

Pretty sure I caught you liking my Instagram posts while I was in the audience.  What do you guys do backstage during the performance when your characters are not present in scenes?

            As long as we can manage our time well, we pretty much just hang out in the green room, which is basically your typical lounge.  Some people choose to do homework (lol), but I get way too distracted and am constantly scrolling through feeds on my phone and chatting to the other actors.

What would you like outsiders to know about PC’s TDF department?

            I am going to miss this production so much because of the dedication of the several department positions, including our directors and stage managers.  They work their butts off to make sure the performances go as smoothly as possible.  The entire TDF department, including the other actors and actresses, are such a great group of people with so much talent.  I cannot wait to perform again in the fall!