Broadway choreographer of AVENUE Q to direct INTO THE WOODS at Indiana University

March 31, 2015

Amy Osajima
Director of Marketing and Communications
812.855.0514 /


Director Kenneth L. Roberson

Bloomington, Ind – Kenneth L. Roberson – Indiana University’s new Musical Theatre Professor of Practice – will make his IU directing debut with Into the Woods, a time-honored classic and winner of five Tony Awards.

Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, Into the Woods was conceived in 1986 by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. The hit musical has been praised internationally for its sophisticated adaptation of fairy tales, exploring adult themes within universal experiences of love, loss, fear, hope, and redemption.

“The emotional highs and lows of this play spin on dime – more so than any other piece I’ve worked on,” explains Roberson, whose Broadway credits include, Avenue Q, All Shook Up, Purlie (Encores!), and Freak. “For me, this piece demands that directors challenge themselves to go as dark as they can in the sections of the play that call for it. That allows the moments of light and redemption to come to the surface with vitality.”

Created by third-year MFA designer, Chris Rhoton, the scenic design for Into the Woods is full of autumnal color, featuring trees that recede into the depths of the Ruth N. Halls Theatre. Rhoton’s set was selected by Broadway designer Stanley Meyer to receive a Southeastern Theatre Conference Graduate Scenic Design Award.

Liza Gennaro adds more Broadway credits to the production team, having choreographed the revivals of The Most Happy Fella and Once Upon a Mattress. This project challenges Gennaro to create dance for an unusually large cast. All 25 performers of Into the Woods are Indiana University undergraduates, many of whom are in IU Theatre’s renowned Musical Theatre BFA program.

Ken Roberson Inside IU Feature

WHAT: Into the Woods, presented by IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance

WHEN: April 17, 18, 21 – 24 @7:30 p.m. / April 25 @ 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $20 for senior citizens. 812.855.1103 or For group discounts contact Stacy Brown (



New ITW model photo

Chris Rhoton – Into The Woods model photo


Chris Rhoton – Into The Woods Entr’acte design


Chris Rhoton – Into The Woods “Rapunzel’s Tower” design

New Into the Woods New Act I Rendering

Chris Rhoton – Into The Woods Act I Rendering

New Into the Woods New Act II Rendering

Chris Rhoton – Into The Woods Act II Rendering



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