Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Into the Woods
Since Into the Woods clearly interacts with the fairy tale tradition as it was inspired by Bettelheim's 1976 book, The Uses of Enchantment, it clearly resonates with a fairy tale tone, especially as it intermixes the plots of some of the Grimms tales we have read. What I enjoyed about this play was that it delved further into the exploration of the consequences of the character's decisions and pursuits. When I did a little research it said the main characters were taken from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstock, Rapunzel, and Cinderella which I thought was fascinating and gave me a little inspiration for my final paper actually. The plot of the a baker and his wife and their attempts to create a family of course tie into the tradition as well, of the poor humble family trying to make its way in a mystical and uncertain time. Where the production seems to depart and at the same time tie more into the fairy tale tradition is the ending. They are saying we should all try the woods (obviously a metaphor for trying new things) but never forget the past, which is perhaps both paying homage to and a departure from the tradition this production originated from . The show premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California in December of 1986 at a time when society was making serious shifts and technological developments were in their early stages but still trying to take off. The first PC virus began, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded seconds after it blasted off, Reagan signed off on an enormous reorganization of the US Department of Defense, in other words big changes were being made. Perhaps this production can be better understood when we see this need to cling to the past while also being force to look to the future, maybe this production was an indication of the struggle in identifying and situating within society's progress.