NextStop Theatre Company opens its production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods next weekend and in between battling witches, wolves, and giants the cast shared with us their journey of preparing for their roles in this popular Stephen Sondheim musical. Today meet Brittany Martz.
Why did you want to be part of this production of Into the Woods? What did you sing at your audition?
I wanted to be a part of this production for a couple of reasons: one, because it’s one of my favorite musicals; two, because as a northern Virginia native, I’m always jumping at the chance to be part of the local arts scene. At my initial audition, I sang Patterns from Baby.
Who do you play in the show and why did you want to play this character?
I play Cinderella. I wanted to play this character because I feel like it’s a big challenge, both musically and from an actor’s standpoint.
How do you relate to your character?
Well I certainly think most anyone can relate to Cinderella’s yearning to belong somewhere.
Have you appeared in any other productions of Into the Woods and who have you played, and if yes, how is this production different?
I have worked on the show once before in the fall of 2012 at George Mason University where I played the Witch.
Have you worked with any of your castmates before?
No! I haven’t, but I’m so glad I have the opportunity to now. They are an incredibly talented bunch, and I feel like I’m learning a lot just watching them work.
Which character in the show is most like you and the least like you and why?
The character most like me is probably Little Red. We’re both outgoing, outspoken, full of energy, and can pack away the baked goods.
The character least like me is Jack. I’m certainly nowhere near as brave or adventurous as him. I do not trust strangers as easily as he does. Moreover, I much prefer a cat or a dog to a cow.
Tell me about the solos/duets you sing and what we learn about your characters when you sing the song?
I sing “On the Steps of the Palace” and “No One Is Alone.” I think “On the Steps of the Palace” really highlights Cinderella’s youth, naivete, and confusion. “No One Is Alone” helps to show Cinderella’s ability to empathize, and the wisdom she has carried with her since her mother’s passing. I believe this beautiful outlook on life is what kept her going despite living in such an abusive household.
What do you admire most about your casmates performances?
These are some very creative people with energy to spare.
Sondheim’s lyrics are brilliant in Into the Woods. What are your favorite lyrics that you sing and your favorite lyrics that someone else sings?
My favorite lyrics that I get to sing are, “Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood. Others may deceive you. You decide what’s good. You decide alone. But no one is alone.”
My favorite lyrics that another character gets to sing are, “You’re so nice. You’re not good. You’re not bad. You’re just nice.”
What is your favorite song that you don’t sing in the show and why?
My favorite song I don’t sing in the show is “Stay With Me.” It’s so beautiful and honest. It makes me tear up when I hear it.
How can audiences in 2014 relate to Into the Woods?
Into the Woods is timeless. On the surface yes, it’s princesses and wolves and witches, but it’s beneath that it’s just about ordinary people trying to get through life and dealing with the hardships it throws at them. They want love, family, children, health, security, and friendship. Who can’t relate to these things?
Why do you think Into the Woods is still so popular today?
The messages are timeless…”Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do. Children will see and learn.”
What is the best advice Director Evan Hoffman and Musical Director Elisa Rosman have given you in preparing for your performance?
Best advice from Evan: There is power in stillness.
Best advice from Elisa: Enunciate! This may sound overly simplistic, but this is a show where the words are coming fast and hard and if you don’t properly articulate them the audience will miss a lot.
Why is this production so special?
It’s Nextstop’s first musical! I think that’s pretty exciting!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Into the Woods?
No one is alone.
Into the Woods plays from May 1-June 1, 2014 at NextStop Theatre Company at the Industrial Strength Theatre -269 Sunset Park Drive, in Herndon, VA. For tickets, call the box office at (703) or purchase them online.
‘Into the Woods’ Brittany Martz, Jacob Lash, Kate Merryman, and Miranda Carver at George Mason University.
Review of ‘Into the Woods’ at George Mason University by Audrey Thornton.