Into the Woods Cast & Crew Spotlight: Emma Grimm and Devin Huchingson

By: Emma Grimm

Emma Grimm
By Michael Presley Bobbitt

Name: Emma Grimm
I play:  Little Red Riding Hood
My favorite show is: Gruesome Playground Injuries and Cyrano de Bergerac
My favorite food is: Ratatouille and Tacos. (though not all together…but maybe…has anyone attempted a ratatouille taco?!?)
Something weird about me: I once missed a plane from Amsterdam to Ireland, so I detoured for 3 days to get there. On one of the busses, I met a very interesting Scottish man named Matthew Perry dressed like Neo from the Matrix. He gave me his 5 card suit ring. Then I lost it. I guess this isn’t very weird, but I like it.

Sondheim and Lapine’s version of Little Red Riding Hood has always been a symbol of innocence lost. How do you capture that theme with your work in this production?

Red endures some serious trauma throughout this show, but she scarcely behaves dispiritedly. I think in adolescence we tend to wallow in self-pity and blame the world for our problems. After Little Red’s encounter with the wolf, she takes everything with a grain of salt. Instead of using enthusiasm to complement her innocence, I try and use it to exemplify her willingness to take any situation as it comes.

There is also a very sad element to Little Red’s story – [SPOILER ALERT] – she loses her Mother and her Grandmother, the only two characters said to have any blood relation to her in the show. In Act II, I do try and let this pain show through my dialogue with the other characters as we make our way through the woods. She is protective of her companions because she is terrified of losing them as well. She marches towards the danger (blade first) because I think, like any adult who has suffered loss, what we fear the most is being alone.

As you know, there’s more to a production than the actors on the stage, and you put a lot of work into the costumes as part of the costume committee. What were some of the challenges you faced in helping to costume this show?

My main goal was actually the biggest challenge; I wanted to have a uniform look without sacrificing the individualism of each character. Not being much of a seamstress myself, I spent around 30 hours in total searching thrift stores and online marketplaces for various items. To add on to the challenge, the time period is never specified. Obviously most fairytales take place “a long time ago, in a far off land…”, but there had to be some kind of harmony. Through the cooperation of the committee, cast, and universe, we somehow put together a pretty damn good looking ensemble. The wardrobes are scattered with earthy and jewel tones, various fabrics to represent social status, and practical wear for venturing into the woods and doing a three hour musical in a multi-decade old building in Florida!

How do the costumes fit into the larger picture of the production?

The costumes are integral to the telling of this story. They have to simultaneously pay homage to these character’s origins and move this new story along. There are so many iconic pieces that are vital in doing so: Little Red’s cape, Cinderella’s golden slipper, The Ugly Stepsister’s lavishness, Rapunzel’s hair, and so on. The costumes contribute to our initial perception of these characters, and later help showcase their growth. Little Red trades in her red cape for a wolf-skin; the witch trades in her warts and cane for jewels and a corset; Jack’s Mom trades in her apron for silk; Jack on the other hand, never changes – inwardly, or outwardly. It’s interesting how little we consciously think of a character’s appearance past first glance, yet it has the ability to completely alter the story.

What is your favorite part of the show?

The end of No One is Alone. Every night, Jackie and I stare at this one glimmer on the projection box, and without fail I am transported into the woods. That, and Lola running at me and Jack during Last Midnight. Scares the sh*t out of me, every time.

What do you love about playing your character?

Like Little Red, my appearance and the natural airiness to my voice often causes people to not take me seriously. This role has given me the opportunity to use those natural characteristics and turn them around on the audience. In my opinion, Little Red ends up being one of the bravest, most virtuous characters in the entire show.

What do you think makes this production different and special?

The fact that this is a repertory show has allowed the cast to build from a strong pre-existing foundation. There is a lot of trust on stage so the few liberties that Sondheim’s work allows are taken. Characters that wouldn’t normally have any interactions, do. This show holds itself to such standards and is so widely known as a classic that people do not often stray from the path (hah). But by us doing so, we have been able to breathe new life into this story, and the characters get to stray even farther from their archetypes. I think audiences who are familiar with the show will be pleasantly surprised by how much they discover.

Devin Huchingson
By Michael Presley Bobbitt

Name: Devin Huchingson
I play: Jack
My favorite show is: Unfortunately, I’ve been obsessed with CATS since I was 5.
My favorite food is: Oranges. Wait… Yeah, oranges.
Something weird about me: Each year at the winter solstice I morph into a werewolf and then remain as such until the summer solstice when I am then again reborn as a human.

As a newcomer to the theatre, how has working in our unique space, and with an entirely new group of artists, challenged and/or stimulated you?

The ART feels like home. I’ve been challenged to pay more attention to my acting considering eye contact is possible with any person in the back row at this theatre. I’ve become confident in doing so because many of my fellow co-stars are able to balance larger theatrics with realistic subtleties. I love it here!!!!

Also, since this is your second time playing the character of Jack, how does this performance differ from your first? What elements influenced these changes?

Well, last time I had a British accent. I’m glad I don’t now. Sondheim and Lapine wrote the part of Jack in a way that makes it easy to think of him as an idiot, which was kind of how I played him last time. And actually a bit this time too! But, my goal is to bring an emotional depth to his character that will contrast his silliness. Adventures precede dreams. And giants have giant breasts. Get what I’m saying?

Besides yourself, who is your favorite character?

Laura is delivering one of the best performances of the Baker’s Wife that I’ve ever seen. Moments in the Woods???? My new favorite song.

What do you think makes this production different and special?

The inclusivity of the space immerses the audience into the story. You are not hidden in the audience here, you’re taken into the woods with us!! It’s very fun for the audience and the artists.