All good things must come to an end. Anna Courtade, a senior at Annapolis High School and actor in the Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) program, will be performing her last musical before she goes off to college to pursue a career in theater. And she’s going out with a bang. Landing the second main character in Into the Woods, the Baker’s Wife, was a huge surprise. “I wasn’t actually going for Baker’s Wife,” Anna admitted when asked about the auditioning process, “And it happened and I’m very happy that I did. I hadn’t realized how much I feel I relate to her in a way. Everyone in the show wishes, and they work to get this wish, and they don’t think about the consequences. Baker’s Wife is very in the moment, so she doesn’t think about what’s coming next, like she goes very strategically through things and I feel like that’s something I very much do. That’s me, and I just love her.”
The upcoming musical, Into the Woods, is part of the extended day after school program in which underclassmen are required to attend. The classes range but often include projects, such as plays, art installations, and interior designs for middle schools. “So we learned [the technique of how to do what you need to do, how to make something great] during the day and then we’re able to implement it in class and specifically extended day show it,” Anna said when asked how the extended day related to the overall PVA program, “Like the musicals, I’m able to take everything I’ve learned in class and put it into the show.”
But for someone like her, she isn’t required to join in these classes and projects. “I just decided to do this show because I’m planning on going into theater, to have a career in theater,” she explained, “And I love Into the Woods and I just love the experience of creating a big piece with a cast and an ensemble and being to feel like we’re a unified thing. I wanted to be able to feel that again and it’s my last year. I want to have the big production and be able to be with all my fellow actors in my last show before we go.”
When asked how she rehearses for her big role, Anna replied, “Well I’m constantly listening to the music or recordings from our lovely accompanist Laura, on the OneDrive. That’s all I listen to, I don’t think I’ve listened to anything for a very long time because of this show! And all I think about is this show because of that. So I constantly am running through my lines and I always put myself in the character, thinking of realistically, why am I saying these things?- and applying my actions and subtext. In a typical rehearsal [at Studio 39] we work through what’s been scheduled for the day and we will go through blocking or music, if that’s what’s needed. We’re expected to be very prepared coming into rehearsals so we’re supposed to be able to polish and make things great when we go into rehearsal. And that’s mostly what rehearsal is meant for, is to polish things and take them to the next step.” And as she takes her next step towards college, she will go, as she says, from “great to amazing!”
Students are currently still in rehearsal until April. Into the Woods premieres Friday, April 28th, at 7:30 pm, at Studio 39, 291 Locust Avenue in Annapolis. Additional performances will be held on Saturday, April 29th, at 2:30 and 7:30 pm. Admission is free but seats can be reserved in advance. For more information or to reserve tickets, please call the Studio 39 Office at 410-280- 1501 or email [email protected].
Little Red (Jaida Williams) “borrows” food from the Baker’s House with Baker’s Wife (Anna Courtade).
Anna2: Baker’s Wife (Anna Courtade) and Baker (Matthew Lucente) discuss giving Little Red the basket.
Dana Parsons (Peragallo), M.A.