Don't miss the STAR (Supporting The Arts in Relay) Summer Theater production of "Into the Woods" Aug. 4, 5, 6 and 7 at the Rice Auditorium on the Spring Grove Hospital Center campus.

Dozens of amazing teenagers from 10 local middle and high schools, including Arbutus Middle, Catonsville Middle, Catonsville High, Lansdowne High, Mount St. Joseph High and Mount de Sales Academy, have been working 3-4 hours a night, 4-5 nights a week for several weeks to prepare for the play, a musical with a fun twist on classic fairy tales.

Nearly 50 local teens are involved in the production as cast, crew and 12-member pit band.

Stage Manager Sophie Adams and Technical Director Daniel Goodrich, both recent Catonsville High graduates, have been working together since their sixth-grade days together at Sudbrook Middle Magnet School.


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Since working as a team on "Godspell," they've collaborated on 10 additional performances.

"This is our most elaborate, most creative project," said Sophie, who also designed the cool website for the show.

The production crew, for example, made giant, three-dimensional sliding trees with burlap and chicken wire.

How do they handle the pressure of pulling together a major production with a 33-member cast?

"We have a stuffed animal we call 'The Stress Panda' and we throw it at each other," she said.

Director Mike Juba controls the chaos while Rosie Hybryk, the music director, runs the rehearsals with endless enthusiasm.

Choreographer Lauren Lowell is the new kid on the block as this is her first STAR production.

The Maine native, who lives in Anne Arundel County and teaches hip-hop for Anne Arundel County Rec and Parks, has been teaching dance for 20 years.

She moved here for her husband's job at Fort Meade. He's currently stationed in Iraq as a satellite engineer contractor and is scheduled to return at the end of August.

"I performed 'Into the Woods' eight years ago at Dundalk CCBC as the stepmother and I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Qwen, before the first show, so this musical means a lot to me," she said.

Also in the cast is Haley Megarity, who started acting in first grade under Hybryk's direction and credited her for the support and encouragement she has given the past nine years.

Haley graduated from Landsdowne High and will attend Florida State University in the fall to major in theater with a minor in pre-med.

Dan will attend Towson University in the fall and plans to major in theater design and production.

Sophie will be at University of Maryland, College Park, and plans to double major in math and theater, with an emphasis in technical theater

Buy tickets online at http://www.starintothewoods.com.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.