Monday, January 10, 2022


The lights are up and bright at Vanguard Theater Company! 

Into the Woods
by Stephen Sondheim 

WHEN: opens on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 8PM, for eight performances only
 Vanguard Theater Company, 180 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair (2nd floor; there is no elevator)
TICKETS: available at, or at

Sondheim's beloved musical about love, adventure, and the transformative power of storytelling presents a timely message about hope, resilience, and taking control of the story.

“When we chose Into the Woods, we knew that Stephen Sondheim’s magical tale had profound messages for us all: The world can be scary, but it is also miraculous and filled with hope. This message could not be more important," says Founding Artistic Director Janeece Freeman Clark (right, with Managing Director Jessica Sporn). “The fact that our cast and team are healthy and able to tell this story is inspiring. We are excited to share it with audiences!”

Vanguard has transformed its theater into a woodsy glen (left), with a production that showcases the company’s most talented teens and young adults as part of DREAM VTC, a selective training program, providing a professional rehearsal process for pre-professionals, who hope to one day become professional performers.

Vanguard delayed opening Into the Woods for one week and added additional safety measures for audiences and actors. “Our theater already has a state-of-the-art air exchange HVAC system, touchless fixtures, and is regularly disinfected,” says Jessica Sporn, Vanguard’s Managing Director and COVID Safety Officer. “The additional week gave our cast and team time to come back from their holidays, quarantine, and monitor their health before returning to the theater. We also increased the theater’s air filtration and circulation with several powerful HEPA air purifiers stationed throughout the audience, in the lobby and dressing rooms. We are rapid-testing our cast and team throughout tech week and the performances.”

Pursuant to the New Jersey Theater Alliance’s “Opening Night, Opening Right,” pledge, Vanguard also requires audience members to present proof of vaccination and wear N95 or equivalent masks throughout the performance. All audience members will also be temperature checked upon entering.

“When we opened our theater in June 2021, our mantra was “We built it, now please come,” Clark recalls. We have done everything we can to assure our participants and audiences that their health and safety is our top priority. One of the most beautiful songs in Into the Woods, is 'No one is Alone.' What better place to hear this message than by experiencing “Into the Woods” together? As Oscar Wilde once said, 'I regard theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.'”


Vanguard Theater Company is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit producing original, collaborative and re-imagined works of theater. Committed to changing the narrative through theater dedicated to DREAM: Diversity, Reciprocity, Education, Activism & Mentorship, Vanguard is committed to color-conscious casting, and professional artistic mentorship. Vanguard Theater Company's year-round programming is made possible through generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Investors Bank, collaborations with Montclair Film and other community partners, and the generosity of many individual donors.

For more information about Vanguard Theater Company and its programs, please visit or call 973.632.2523. For the most up-to-date news and information, follow @VTCNJ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.