The challenge of humanity is to be good. But it is far easier (and sometimes alluring) to give way to our animalistic impulses. In this production, we have set out to explore what happens when humans don’t fight to be good, and allow the seduction of impulse to drive our actions. It also asks us to consider the consequences of impulsivity as it infects the whole of society—and eventually falls upon the backs of our youth to either clean up or fall victim to repeating the cycle.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is one of the most produced musicals in theaters of all sizes, around the world. My cast and team have been granted the privilege to investigate this text in the way the late great Stephen Sondheim felt was most important: to place risk-taking at the heart of creation. To be brave. To prioritize discomfort. And not to shy away from the darker reaches of the human experience.

I want to thank the entire cast and team who have all shared an abundance of expertise with each other in order to make this massive piece of theater possible. And. I want to thank each of you for being present with us. While you may laugh together, you may also, at times, cry together. Turn to your neighbor and introduce yourself. It’s important to witness and acknowledge who you’re in community with.

Jay Wood

This article was first published in the Sweeney Todd playbill for The 5th Avenue Theatre. It is published here courtesy of The 5th Avenue Theatre.  Click here to read the full playbill.