Nothing brings families together like the spring musical at Woodrow Wilson High School. When “Into the Woods” debuts Thursday, many family members will see a second generation of students on the stage where they once stood.
That’s the case for Francie Hansen and Jason Kulas. The longtime friends performed together in Woodrow’s musicals in the 80s and 90s. Thirty years later, their children will take the stage for the final time as seniors. Jackson Hansen will appear as the Baker, and Caroline Kulas is cast as Cinderella.
Jackson saw his first musical at Woodrow when he was 4 years old, and he began participating when he was a freshman.
“My favorite part is the strong community aspect,” Jackson said. “It’s fun to see all the parents onstage. Everyone is really passionate about it.”
Although Francie won’t perform onstage in “Into the Woods,” she’s taken up a behind-the-scenes roll. She’s co-chaired the musical for three years and coordinated the production’s 30 chairs.
“When they’re teenagers, they’re off with their friends, but we’ve gotten to share these memories,” Francie said. “My mother is bringing 90 people to see Jackson. It’s a family affair.”
Francie isn’t the only parent who has stayed involved. Jason is part of a group of dads called “Men in Black,” who help backstage and change sets between scenes.
“What’s really fun is Caroline wants to have a third generation,” Jason said. “To stand on that stage, even on the side, it brings back some fun memories.”
Jackson plans to continue his participation in musical productions at Cornell, Georgetown or Bowdoin, and Caroline plans to major in theater and dance at the University of Texas.
“I love that I’m able to have a similar experience as my dad did 30 years ago, and I’m so excited for my little brother to follow in my footsteps,” Caroline said.
Tickets be purchased for $10-15 at wwhschoir.weebly.com.