Fairy Tales 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sondheim's Into the Woods

This musical is, on the one hand, a modern interpretation of the fairy tale in a different genre than its original creation. On the other hand, Into the Woods can also be called a modern day oral tradition. Oral tales with as much fervor and imagery as fairy tales probably demanded theatricality from the storyteller. I think that this play addresses a lot of interesting aspects concerning fairy tale structure. Firstly, just the setting of the interactions of characters—its always someone running into someone else in the woods. There are tons of chance encounters and run-ins, but even when the characters are at home, they all share a split stage. I think that this constant saturation of characters and disjointed scene structure comments on the inability to effectively mash these stories into one cultural context. According to the plot of Act II, Sondheim believes there are dire consequences to lumping all of these wonderfully rich, vastly different cultural stories into a boiled-down, condensed version for an end.

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