Into the Woods

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Into the Woods

Book by: James Lapine
Music and Lyrics by: Stephen Sondheim
Directed by: Erik Ramirez
Produced by: Jennifer Hovey
Musical Direction by: Andrew Mathews

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

Cast Members

  • Narrator/Mysterious Man – Michael Harrison
  • Cinderella / Baker’s Wife (U/S)– Alisha Kassel
  • Baker – Matthew Starkey
  • Baker’s Wife – Alexandra Robbins-Goddard
  • Jack – Kevin Phan
  • Jack’s Mother – Cassi Nelson
  • Little Red – Isabel Friedl / Audrey Linton (Double Cast)
  • Cinderella’s Step Mother – Marquel Gerson
  • Lucinda / Cinderella (U/S) – Amy Hypnarowski
  • Florinda – Kailey Liddell
  • Witch – Julie Rogelstad
  • Cinderella’s Father – Rusty Dimagiba
  • Cinderella’s Mother/ Giant – Debra Thomas
  • Cinderella’s Prince – Stephen Jack
  • Rapunzel’s Prince / Jack (U/S) – Trevor Rogelstad
  • Wolf/Steward – Kaivan Mohsenzadeh
  • Rapunzel / Cinderella’s Step Mother (U/S) – Jillian Jackson
  • Grandmother – Rita Carlin-Hipp
  • Baker (U/S) – Chris Califano
  • Lucinda / Florinda (U/S) – Audrey Linton
  • Witch (U/S) – Eve Jack

Michael Harrison – Narrator / Mysterious Man

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After his Sapphire premiere this fall as Douglas Panch in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Michael is so excited to be returning to the Woods! Select theatre credits include: West Side Story (Anxious) and Carousel (Featured Dancer) Heritage Repertory Theatre, Into the Woods (Jack) South Carolina Children’s Theatre, A Chorus Line (Al) University of Virginia, Joseph…Dreamcoat (Simeon/Choreographer) Furman University, Titanic (Barrett), Knoxville Players Billy Elliot: The Musical (Miner/Policeman) CYC, The Wiz (Ozzian/Royal Messenger) CYC, …Charlie Brown (Linus) Depot Players, City of Angels (Quartet), Cabaret and Pippin. Michael sings with the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, and is a Spanish Professor at San Diego Mesa College. He lives in Serra Mesa with his amazing husband, Clay, who, on the night they met 16 years ago, bonded over their mutual love of Into the Woods.

Alisha Kassel – Cinderella

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Alisha is proud to be making her Sapphire Theater Company debut with Into the Woods! Select credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman), and Les Misérables (Fantine). She would like to thank Sapphire Theater for all of the work that has been put into this amazing show! Also, a big thank you to her family for supporting her in every production she has participated in.

Matthew Starkey – Baker

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Matthew Starkey is happy to be back on stage with Sapphire Theatre Company. He was happy to help co-direct Sapphire’s The New Broadway: A Musical Showcase at the end of summer. Starkey stays very busy in the San Diego community. He is a professional Emcee for Endurance events throughout Southern California. He also gives his time by hosting fundraisers for numerous local Non-Profits. He is also involved with Encore Vocal Ensemble and performs with them throughout the year. Some of Starkey’s previous theatre credits include: Next to Normal (Dr. Fine) Sapphire Theatre Company, Hair (Berger) Encore Vocal Ensemble, Five Course Love (Man 1), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Linus), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Man 1) Scripps Ranch Theatre, Jekyll & Hyde (Gabriel John Utterson) Fine Arts Network, Godspell (Jesus) Premiere Productions. Starkey sends all his love and thanks to his insanely patient wife Stephanie, and his lovable, hyper dogs Sirius Blackdog and Pepper the Brat Terrier.

Alexandra Robbins-Goddard – Baker’s Wife

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Alexandra Robbins-Goddard is very excited to journey Into The Woods with the Sapphire Theatre Company. She was most recently seen in STC’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as Rona Lisa Perrertti at the Lyceum Theatre. Favorite credits include: Into The Woods (Cinderella), Bye Bye Birdie (Kim MacAfee) and Spring Awakening (Anna). She is grateful to have the opportunity to work with this extremely talented cast and production team!

Kevin Phan – Jack

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Kevin Phan is thrilled to be returning to Sapphire Theatre to reprise his role of Jack. He has most recently been seen in STC’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as U/S Chip Tolentino at the Lyceum Theatre. Select credits include: How To Succeed In Business (J. Pierrepont Finch) American Idiot (Johnny) Patio Playhouse, Spring Awakening (Moritz) Palomar College, Les Miserables (Enjolras) Star Repertory. Kevin wishes the cast of Into the Woods a successful run. He also wants to express his deepest gratitude to his friends and family for being his greatest inspiration.

Cassi Nelson – Jack’s Mother

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Cassi is excited to be joining this wonderful cast with Sapphire Theatre Company for the first time. A mother of three blossoming performers she has her hands full, but still makes time for productions. Most recently she has played in Princess Diana: The Musical (Camilla Parker-Bowles) and Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Mother) with Patio Playhouse. She has performed around the world from Naples Italy, to the Seattle Opera House.  Her favorite credits include: Grease (Sandy), Anne of Green Gables (Rachel Lynd), Oklahoma (Gertie Cummings), The Suffered (Kit) Wu Filmworks. Other credits include: Mame, R&H
Cinderella, Brigadoon, and The Mikado.

Isabel Friedl - Little Red (Double Cast)

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Isabel is thrilled to be on this journey into the woods in her debut with Sapphire Theatre Company. She is a Sophomore at Del Norte High School and most recently appeared CYT’s Beauty and the Beast as Babette. Select credits include: 13 the Musical (Lucy) Star Rep, Peter Pan (Tiger Lily) Moonlight Amphitheatre, Shrek (Dragon), Charlotte’s Web (Charlotte), Annie (Annie). She’s also performed with CYT’s Elite A Cappella performance group, in competition show choirs, as well as behind the scenes stage manager for Godspell. She wants to thank friends and family, fellow performers, and the directing team for all their support. Thank you for supporting live theater, and enjoy the show!

Audrey Linton – Little Red & Florina / Lucinda (U/S) (Double Cast)

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Audrey  is currently a Junior at Del Norte High School where she is actively involved in the drama department as the Vice President of both the Drama Club and the Improv Team. Credits include: Bye Bye Birdie (Kim MacAfee), And Then
There Were None (Mrs. Rogers), Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth), The Lion King (Rafiki), The Little Mermaid (Ariel). This is Audrey’s debut production with Sapphire Theatre Company and she is very grateful to Jenn and Lisa for this opportunity, and to the talented cast for being so welcoming.

Marquel Gerson – Cinderella’s Step Mother

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Marquel is a graduate of Chapman University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and a minor in Theatre. Marquel has performed in Sapphire Theatre Company’s cabaret series, including All That Jazz, An Enchanted Cabaret, and Broadway Hits. This is Marquel’s second mainstage production with Sapphire Theatre Company, having played Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors performed at Tenth Avenue Theatre December of 2016. Other roles Marquel has enjoyed include: Bambi in Curtains, Marion Paroo in The Music Man, Kate in Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party, and ensemble roles in Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, The Secret Garden, and Oklahoma. Marquel is very thrilled to be continuing with Sapphire Theatre Company after so many exciting productions.

Amy Hypnarowski – Lucinda

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Nearly 8 years ago, Amy conducted Into the Woods at her high school. Thus, it’s only fitting her that her return to the stage is with this production. Amy grew up doing musical theater throughout San Diego, playing such roles as Hello Dolly (Minnie), Oliver (Mrs. Bedwin), In The Beginning (Ariel). She now treats guests to the safari of a lifetime as a Photo Caravan Guide at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as well as working as a full time veterinary ER technician. Amy is also an accomplished musician and conductor.  Spending most of her college years on the field as part of the Cal Poly Mustang Marching Band, she performed as first flute and piccolo in multiple productions. She enjoys long walks on the beach [with her dog], podcasting about her favorite superhero TV shows, and spoiling giraffes with extra leaves when her bosses aren’t looking. Amy is genuinely thrilled to have found Sapphire Theater Company and looks forward to future productions with this far from lugubrious cast and crew.

Kailey Liddell – Florinda

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Kailey Liddell (Florinda) is excited to be making her debut with Sapphire Theatre Company! Currently a Junior in High School, Kailey has been singing & acting since the age of six and loves every minute she is on stage. Favorite credits include: Godspell (Cabrillo Playhouse), King and I (Glendale Centre Theatre), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Performance Riverside), Heathers (Ivy Players), Annie (Lewis Family Playhouse), The Miracle Worker (Temecula Valley Players), and Seussical (OBCT). Love and thanks to God, my family, my coach Nora and my friends. (1 Peter 4:8)

Julie Rogelstad – Witch

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Julie Rogelstad (Witch) originally from Poway, California is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Select regional credits include: Man of La Mancha (Aldonza), Jekyll and Hyde (Lucy), West Side Story (Anita), Damn Yankees (Gloria) and A Little Night Music (Petra). Her most recent projects include the role of Diana in Next to Normal with the Sapphire Theatre Company, and her one woman show Home, which she wrote / performed at the Poway Center for the Arts and the Diversionary Theatre. She was seen in the last season of “The Sopranos” as Sylvio’s Goomar, and has performed extensively throughout New York City’s Cabaret circuit. She was also San Diego’s WCCMA 2014 Female Country Vocalist of the Year.

Rusty Dimagiba – Cinderella’s Father

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Rusty Dimagiba is excited to be doing his first show at Sapphire Theatre company. While he is currently a student at San Diego Miramar College, Rusty plans to transfer to UC Irvine next fall to complete his BA in Psychology and pursue his passion for theatre. He was most recently seen in How to Succeed in Business (Mr. Ovington) and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Play for his performance in Harvey (Dr. Chumley). Rusty would like to thank the cast for their constant support and inspiration.

Debra Thomas – Cinderella’s Mother / Giant

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Debra is pleased to be making her San Diego debut with Sapphire Theater Company! After a long absence from the stage she is thrilled to be a part of this production. Debra studied theater at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she had supporting roles in productions such as Crazy For You and The Three Penny Opera. She is currently serving in the United States Navy and for the past 8 years has enjoyed singing at ceremonies and events wherever she has been assigned, keeping her passion for performing alive while serving her country.

Stephen Jack – Cinderella’s Prince

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Stephen Jack is thrilled to make his San Diego theatre debut with Sapphire Theatre Company! When he’s not performing, he takes pride in managing the top-producing real estate brokerage in the San Diego Metropolitan area. Favorite Regional credits include:  Thoroughly Modern Millie (Jimmy), Company (David), Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph), Rocky Horror Show (Brad), Cabaret (Cliff Bradshaw), Big River (Tom Sawyer), RENT (Various). Stephen is blessed to have the opportunity to share the stage with his beautiful wife, Eve. Without her support, he would be unable to succeed in his endeavors-on and off the stage.

Trevor Rogelstad – Rapunzel’s Prince / Jack (U/S)

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Trevor Rogelstad was most recently seen as Chip Tolentino in Sapphire Theatre Company’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Lyceum Theatre. He is excited to be returning to the stage with this fabulous cast. Credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour Krelborn) Sapphire Theatre Company, Les Miserables (Marius), Into The Woods (Jack), The 1940’s Radio Hour (B.J Gibson), Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph). Trevor would like to thank Erik and Jenn for the chance to continue performing and everyone who supports him in his love for Theatre especially his wonderful mom.

Kaivan Mohsenzadeh – Wolf / Steward

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Kaivan Mohsenzadeh is thrilled to make his Sapphire Theatre Company debut performance as both the Wolf and Steward! Into the Woods has been a show that Kaivan has always wanted to perform in, and he is grateful to finally have the chance to work amongst such a talented group of individuals. Credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Skip Snip) Coronado Playhouse, The Wedding Story (The Groom) MCTC. He will also be playing the role of Lucas in The Addams Family at Coronado Playhouse in January. He would like to thank his family, friends and girlfriend for their constant support and he hopes that you will enjoy this production of Into The Woods!

Jillian Jackson – Rapunzel

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Jillian Jackson is excited to be working with Sapphire Theatre Company again! She was most recently seen playing the role of Logainne in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Lyceum Theatre with STC. She is a recent graduate from SDSU and holds a BA in Music with a Minor in Theater. Equally at home in opera and musical theater, her favorite roles include the title role in Amelia Goes to the Ball (Amelia), High Button Shoes (Mama/Sarah Longstreet), Hello Dolly (Minnie Fay), Suor Angelica (Conversa), Billy Elliot – The Musical (Billy’s Mum). She’s been a fan of the performing arts ever since she was little. She wants to thank her friends and family for always supporting her. Enjoy the show!

Rita Carlin-Hipp – Grandmother

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Rita Carlin-Hipp is a property manager and developer by day, a novelist and illustrator by night, and slave to two cats. Her former roles include The Wiz (chorus), Man of La Mancha (chorus), and Our Town (Mrs. Gibbs). She got dared to try out for this show, and now here she is getting gobbled by a wolf. Serves her right!

Chris Califano – Baker (U/S)

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Chris Califano is thrilled to be continuing his journey with Sapphire Theatre Company. He was last seen in the role of William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with STC. Notable credits include: …Spelling Bee (Leaf) ASL / UCSD, Little Shop (Mushnik) Sapphire Theatre Company, Legally Blonde (Emmett), and Hairspray (Fender). In his spare time, Chris strives to promote theatrical accessibility and inclusion by incorporating his passion of American Sign Language within performing arts.

Eve Jack – Witch (U/S)

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Eve Jack is grateful to Sapphire Theatre Company for this amazing opportunity to do this show and this role, and is excited to be joining the cast of Woods for her third production with STC. Some of her favorite regional theatre credits are: King & I, RENT, Jesus Christ Superstar. Other theatre credits include: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy) STC, Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal) STC, Company (Marta), The Fantasticks (Luisa), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cobweb). Eve works for the #1 real estate company in the US. She enjoys wellness-focused activities, enjoys beach dates and horror movie dates with her hubby, Stephen, and she LOVES purple! She’s ecstatic to share the stage again with her lifetime Prince and husband, Stephen.