Tin Shop Theatre to host outdoor production of ‘Into the Woods’

BUCHANAN — This weekend, fairytales will be coming to life as classic characters dance across the stage at the Buchanan Commons.

The Tin Shop Theatre will be hosting a production of “Into the Woods,” a musical following fairytale characters such as Cinderella and Rapunzel. Showtimes are 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  To allow for social distancing measures in the wake of COVID-19, the play will be hosted outside at the Buchanan Common, and audience members are asked to wear masks and maintain a 6-foot distance from individuals outside of their group. Admission to the show is free, but the Tin Shop will be accepting donations to help cover the costs of the production.

“We thought we wouldn’t be able to host a show initially due to COVID because we had canceled the rest of our season because we couldn’t have anything inside,” said the show’s director, Kelly Carlin. “Our board came together and said, ‘How can we make this happen?’”

Carlin said the Tin Shop has consulted experts and taken several precautions to ensure audience and cast safety during the show. The lawn at the Buchanan Commons has been separated into circles that families and audience members, who can bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, can sit in to ensure social distancing is maintained. The cast will be wearing face shields and gloves at all times to help protect against the spread of COVID-19.

The Tin Shop chose “Into the Woods” because it appeals to many, including Carlin’s student actors. Carlin added that the show is designed to be family-friendly because the first act of the show, which comes to its own conclusion, is meant to be “PG” rated. The second act, which deals with more adult or serious themes, is intended to be rated “PG13.”

While Carlin is excited to host “Into the Woods” to provide entertainment to the Buchanan community, she said she is most excited about providing an opportunity for her student actors to be in a production amid COVID-19 — particularly those who have been acting in Tin Shop productions for years.

“One of the reasons I keep doing shows is for the kids,” Carlin said. “It’s like a family. During [the pandemic], all of these kids have been cooped up, and there is not a lot going on, so I really wanted them to have a safe outlet to be able to express themselves and have fun this summer.”

The students themselves said they have been happy to be working on a play, even though COVID-19 precautions have made it different from usual.

“When I thought the play was canceled, I was so sad. I thought it would ruin my whole summer,” said Nora Kaltenbach, an 18-year-old Buchanan resident playing the role of the Baker’s Wife. “I was so happy when I found out we would be doing this. It means so much to be coming down here every day to work on a show. We love theater. I feel very fortunate that we have a nice outdoor facility and that we get to do the show.”

“In the end, I’m very grateful that we are still able to do the show,” added Kaiden Mills, an 18-year-old Buchanan resident playing the Baker.

Carlin said she hopes the community will turn out for “Into the Woods” to enjoy a night of entertainment and support the cast that has worked hard to put it on.

“I think people are going to be entertained, but they are also going to be touched,” she said. “We are really excited.”

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