|Taylor Dalton is sassy as Little Red Riding Hood, but she still has a weakness for the Wolf (Keith Janoch).|
PHOTO: Jan Cartwright
In the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood is a bit ditzy. I mean, how naïve do you have to be to mistake your grandmother for a wolf? But in Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, “Little Red” is no pushover. In the Farmington Players’ production, Taylor Dalton brings an edge to the character. As Taylor says, “I love my girl Red because she’s sassy, tough, and very blunt. She’s so much more than just a little girl who gets eaten by a wolf; there’s more depth to her and she’s more dynamic here than in her other fairytale stories and that’s what I love most.” Even though Taylor looks totally adorable as Red, her biggest challenge with the role is “finding ways to make her more likable to the other characters. Little Red is quite honest and she speaks her mind which may annoy some characters, but deep down she means well and she cares very deeply about those around her and I want to make sure that shows.”
In developing her character, Taylor has focused on “the difference between nice and good. In the song I Know Things Now, Little Red sings about that. As I was rehearsing the number I had this revelation that just because someone is a nice person doesn’t mean they are a good person. Take the wolf for example. He’s very nice to Red and says all the right things but he doesn’t have good intentions. That theme resonates with me the most because after some self-reflection I realized I have tendency to mesh the two together. I think ‘oh this person is so nice, they must be good which means I can trust them’ but that isn’t always the case.” Into The Woods has also taught Taylor to “be careful of what you wish for. There have been multiple times where I’ve pursued a dream or a wish and things didn’t turn out how I’d hoped or didn’t turn out how I thought they would. But in those moments, you learn a lot about yourself and about what you need versus what you want. Then, you find new dreams and new wishes to strive towards. I think any experience that doesn’t go your way presents a lesson to be learned which helps us grow as individuals.”
Taylor loves this show because “it features a multitude of characters we all know and love but with a twist. Not only do the stories intertwine in interesting ways, but this show gives you a deeper look at each character and reveals their motives, their hopes, their dreams, and their uncertainties. Into The Woods humanizes these classic tales and makes it easy to relate to one or many of the characters.” Into The Woods is Taylor’s first show since high school (she recently graduated from Oakland University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a minor in Theatre), and Taylor has “missed that feeling of being in a production: the feeling you get when you’re rehearsing and things are starting to come together; the feeling when you step on that stage and the lights hit your face and everything just feels warm and right in that moment. I could not have picked a better place to get back into theatre and back on the stage. Everyone in the Farmington Players family has been so kind and welcoming and supportive. This cast and crew are phenomenal and I cannot say enough good things about them. I feel very much at home when I am at rehearsal and it’s all very surreal for me; I keep waiting for someone to pinch me and tell me it’s all a dream!”
Into the Woods has 12 performances at Farmington Players Barn Theater from April 27 – May 19. The show is proudly sponsored by Tru-Vista Wealth Advisors. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.