Costume designer Ann Hould-Ward is going back to the woods. Hould-Ward, nominated for a Tony for her work on the 1987 Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods (she later won one for another fairy tale-themed work, Beauty and the Beast), is revisiting the iconic work at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, Dec. 6-18. For this version, Hould-Ward plans to incorporate some of her original Broadway designs, alongside some new creations. The production will be directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom and will star Emily Skinner in the role of the Witch. Below, Hould-Ward explains the concept for this new version:
“Bobby Longbottom conceived of the cast beginning in modern clothing and changing into the fairy-tale costumes as they begin the show. We all put on fairy tales—we tell ourselves about how life will be, and only later find out in the second act that our invented fairy tales may not be what we thought!
“As Bobby and I spoke, we recognized that there was a way to revisit the now well-worn fairy-tale costumes from 1987, which contained the iconic imagery of the characters, and use them to tell the story of how we all start out believing in the fairy tales and only later realize it is not always what we built it up to be in terms of modern everyday life.
“We recognized we had the ability to take what I had conceived long ago and layer it with new visual ideas to make a comprehensive new take on the story.”