Our musical this summer season is Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Misty Cotton returns to the Festival as the Witch; we last saw her in Johnny Guitar. Tina Scariano plays Cinderella; she played Cosette in Les Mis. And Deanna Ott is here for her third season, playing Little Red Riding Hood.

Tell us your thoughts about this play.

Deanna:   While the show is fun and recognizable, especially the first act, the deeper meanings of the show resonate with you differently at different times in your life.

Misty:   That’s the beauty of the show. I’ve seen it a few times. Every time you see it or perform it, different things resonate. It’s about life. People know these fairytale characters, and these stories are written in very black and white. They’re written that way because children’s brains can’t see grays and they are meant to teach lessons. But as you get older, many factors come in and I think the second act is more of the reality – the grays. It becomes much more complicated.

Rehearsal - Pfundstein (Baker's Wife), Scariano (Cinderella)

Rehearsal - Pfundstein (Baker's Wife), Scariano (Cinderella)

Tina:    I love the song “Children Will Listen” because we all reference our parents in it. There’s always that person in our life that we looked up to or listened to and then in the second act it’s the harsh reality of realizing they were wrong, they were human, they erred. Your parents are people. It’s this awful/wonderful realization – you now have to decide for yourself.

Rehearsal - Ott (Little Red Riding Hood)

Rehearsal - Ott (Little Red Riding Hood)

Can you describe this show from a musical perspective?

Misty:    Some people have a hard time with Sondheim: “I can’t go out humming the songs”. That’s not true in this show because there are some very beautiful songs like “No One is Alone.” He’s putting dialog to music. But there are moments when it’s melodic.

Tina:    Once you get it down, Sondheim makes your job really easy. Once you learn it, he puts the clues in the music, the inflections are all there.

Rehearsal - Cotton (The Witch)

Rehearsal - Cotton (The Witch)

Deanna:    It’s like Shakespeare – in Iambic – you have to be very careful to make sure the important words have the right inflection. When you sing a line, it’s exactly the way you might speak it. It has the same inflection as if speaking. The tune of it gives you more of a subtext than the actual lyrics would.

How do you feel about being part of the Festival?

Misty:    I feel so lucky to be here. If you’re a young artist – they have mentors, they have REACH programs, special classes. It’s really something special. I call this one of the best kept secrets.

Deanna:    I have loved every moment that I’ve spent here. The company is always fantastic. The creative process – the time we take is very precious. Nothing is glossed over. We work through everything. I really appreciate that.

Tina:    This place is like Disneyworld for actors. The best place on Earth. I love it. The caliber of human beings that are hired here is extraordinary. And then you find out they’re talented. I feel very nurtured here.

Into the Woods opens in preview on June 30 and runs through August 30. You can learn more about the play at http://www.bard.org/plays/woods2014.html. And you can purchase tickets online at www.bard.org or by calling 800-PLAYTIX.

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