UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Bryan Conger directs ‘Into the Woods’

Photo of Bryan CongerStephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” sparked Bryan Conger’s fascination with theater. Now, he is directing a cast of UNCG Theatre students in this celebrated work.

UNCG Theatre faculty member and Triad Stage Artistic Associate Bryan Conger directs a staged concert of the Sondheim musical April 29 and 30 in the UNCG Auditorium.

Conger, an alumnus of UNCG’s MFA Directing program (2011), said that “Into the Woods,” which intertwines the stories of several classic fairy tale characters, inspired him as a young actor.

“In my generation, ‘Into the Woods’ was a play that inspired us to do theatre,” said Conger. “I think it’s a good play for actors. It has great music, great stories and really impactful characters that you don’t forget.”

As the production’s director, Conger wanted to break the traditional format of a musical, so he looked to the New York Philharmonic’s “Sweeney Todd” and “Encores!” at New York City Center for inspiration.

“We decided that we still want the actors to be able to move throughout the space because the play is so much about a journey, about people being able to go through the woods,” said Conger. “So we decided to not have music stands and to have the music memorized and that really allowed things to happen.”

Conger said that “Into the Woods” is a great play for families, combining sophisticated wit with vibrant music.

The staged concert event will feature a 21-piece on-stage orchestra conducted by UNCG alumnus Dominick Amendum. He is music supervisor of Broadway’s “Wicked.”

Students from a UNCG musical-theatre workshop class will be performers.

Find more information or purchase tickets at performingarts.uncg.edu/into-the-woods/.
See related story in this week’s CW: “Onto the stage, ‘Into the Woods.'”