Into the Woods

2015 Award Season


We're thrilled that On the Twentieth Century is the most nominated revival of the season! Congratulations to all our nominees this awards season.

Tony Award Nominations:

Blog-Award-TonyOn the Twentieth Century - extended through July 19
Best Revival of a Musical
Best Actress in a Musical - Kristin Chenoweth
Best featured Actor in a Musical - Andy Karl
Best Scenic Design of a Musical - David Rockwell
Best Costume Design of Musical - William Ivey Long

Drama Desk Award Nominations:

On the Twentieth Century
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Actress in a Musical - Kristin Chenoweth - WIN
Outstanding featured Actor in a Musical - Andy Karl
Outstanding Choreography - Warren Carlyle

Into the Woods
Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Just Jim Dale
Outstanding Revue - WIN

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations

OCC_Logo135On the Twentieth Century
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Outstanding Actress in a Musical - Kristin Chenoweth - WIN
Outstanding Actor in a Musical - Peter Gallagher
Outstanding featured Actor in a Musical - Andy Karl - WIN
Outstanding featured Actress in a Musical - Mary Louise Wilson
Outstanding Director of a Musical - Scott Ellis
Outstanding Choreographer - Warren Carlyle
Outstanding Set Design - David Rockwell
Outstanding Costume Design - William Ivey Long

Into the Woods
Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Just Jim Dale
Outstanding Solo Performance - Jim Dale - WIN

Read the full list of nominees.

Drama League Award Nominations:

DramaLeague_Logo135On the Twentieth Century
Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Distinguished Performance Award - Kristin Chenoweth
Distinguished Performance Award - Andy Karl

Into the Woods
Outstanding Revival of a Musical

The Real Thing
Distinguished Performance Award - Ewan McGregor

Just Jim Dale
Distinguished Performance Award - Jim Dale

Read the full list of nominees.

Lucille Lortel Award Nominations:

LortelAwards_Logo135Into the Woods
Outstanding Revival - WIN
Outstanding Choreographer - Lisa Shriver
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical - Ben Steinfeld
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical - Jennifer Mudge
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical - Andy Grotelueschen
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical - Emily Young
Outstanding Scenic Design - Derek McLane

Indian Ink
Outstanding Revival
Outstanding Costume Design - Candice Donnelly

Just Jim Dale
Outstanding Solo Show

Read the full list of nominees. 

Fred and Adele Astaire Award Nominations:

On the Twentieth Century
Best Choreographer - Warren Carlyle
Best Male Dancer - Phillip Attmore, Rick Faugno, Drew King and Richard Riaz Yoder

Read the full list of nominees.


Related Categories:
2014-2015 Season, Indian Ink, Into the Woods, Just Jim Dale, On the Twentieth Century

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The Psychology of Fairy Tales


James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim created Into the Woods, a story in which the lives of famous fairy-tale characters collide and intertwine. Read more about fairy tales and their characteristics below.

In the early nineteenth century, the Brothers Grimm and their imitators began to collect the oral folk and children’s tales of their nations. The Grimms called these tales Wundermärchen, or wonder tales. Since that time, the folktales of almost every community on Earth have been written down. Surprisingly, a subset of these stories, those we call fairy tales, are similar across cultures. The same basic themes, characters, plots, and motifs recur in stories from Native American tribes, rural Chinese farming communities, and Iranian villages.

Little Red Cap

An illustration of Little Red Riding Hood


Fairy tale characteristics:

The core plot of the story is short and not detailed.

They are timeless and spaceless. They seem to have always existed. They happen “once upon a time”–somewhere without a specific time, place, or culture.

They feature combinations of familiar plots, images, and motifs.
They rely on archetypal characters such as good mothers, bad witches, and beautiful princesses and archetypal symbols such as gold, forests, towers, and thorns to evoke a visceral response in a listener.

They take place in a supernatural land of wonder, where natural physical laws are suspended.

They often have happy endings. Hope and goodness triumph over elements of darkness.


Why are the fairy tales of different nations and peoples so similar?

One school of thought holds that the stories have a single point of origin in Babylon, or India, from which they spread. The Chinese and French versions of Little Red Riding Hood, for example, share a common ancestor dating back 2,600 years.

Others conclude that fairy tales are a corrupted explanation of natural phenomena: the sun, the lunar cycle, the seasons, storms. The golden-haired hero triumphs over the forces of darkness, just as the sun triumphs over winter, and spring returns.

Another theory posits that these stories are degraded versions of myths, or remnants of religious beliefs or rituals. In this case, the trickster character common to so many fairy tales has his origins in the Ulysses of Greek mythology.

In the twentieth century, followers of famous psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung developed new schools of thought about the origins and purposes of fairy tales.

Bettleheim Photo 5In 1976, Austrian-American child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim published a book outlining a Freudian approach to fairy tales, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. (Since his death in 1990, Bettelheim’s academic credentials, theories about autism, and treatment methods have come under scrutiny and in some cases been completely discredited. His analysis of the psychological function of fairy tales remains a coherent approach to the topic.) In The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim makes the case that fairy tales use symbolism to present essential existential dilemmas—the fear of growing up, desire to live forever, fear that one is alone—in a way that a child can understand. The detail-free stories help children learn to cope with their own “primitive drives” and “violent emotions” and assures them that, like fairy tale heroes, they can overcome obstacles. In Bettelheim’s view, fairy tales guide children through the process of healthy human development, teaching them to go out into the world independent of their parents, find themselves, find their partner, and live “happily ever after,” knowing that by “forming a true interpersonal relation” they can live a fulfilled life.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung

The popularity of The Uses of Enchantment led many to conclude that it was a source for Into the Woods. But, as Stephen Sondheim explains, “[Lapine] was drawn not to Bettelheim’s Freudian approach but to Carl Jung’s theory that fairy tales are an indication of the collective unconscious.”

The collective unconscious, according to Jung, is a shared part of the unconscious mind, made up of primordial images or archetypes from which innate human drives emerge. It’s how the “structure of the soul spontaneously and independently organizes experiences.” All human beings have access to this collective unconscious, and it influences human behavior on instinctive, ethical, moral, and cultural levels.

Jung wrote, “The collective unconscious — so far as we can say anything about it at all — appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious... “

Marie-Louise von Franz, a Jungian psychoanalyst, wrote of the value fairy tales hold for understanding the collective unconscious. Unlike myths, fairy tales are not layered with cultural, national, or religious meaning. “Fairy tales are the purest and simplest expression of collective unconscious psychic processes...Every fairy tale is a relatively closed system compounding one essential psychological meaning which is expressed in a series of symbolic pictures and events and is discoverable in these.” Each symbol is connected not only to a thought pattern but to an emotional experience.

In this view, the traditional fairy tale characters of Into the Woods emerge from the collective unconscious. They express a universal human journey: from the known and safe into the unknown in pursuit of their heart’s desire. So, too, do the characters invented by James Lapine, the Baker and the Baker’s Wife. Sondheim writes that that they are “at heart a contemporary urban American couple,” but their quest has a universal resonance. Lapine and Sondheim are the conduit through which these characters and their associated archetypes have emerged from the collective unconscious.

Into the Woods is now playing at the Laura Pels Theatre through April 12. For more information and tickets, please visit our website.

Related Categories:
2014-2015 Season, Education @ Roundabout, Into the Woods, Upstage

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A Conversation with Kathryn Armour, Alexander and Voice Teacher


Kathryn Armour

Kathryn Armour

As if Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine wasn’t a challenging enough piece in the musical theater cannon, Fiasco Theater decided that they would take it on as their latest project, performing it with only 10 actors who also play their own instruments. The success of the production brought it from the McCarter Theater Center in Princeton to The Old Globe in San Diego and finally to Roundabout, at The Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, where it currently is playing to critical acclaim through April 12.

Aiding the actors in the rigorous routine of eight shows a week is Kathryn Armour, a voice teacher and Alexander Technique practitioner. We spoke with Kathryn recently about her work behind the scenes with Fiasco, and learned how she helps the performers stay at the top of their game.

What was your introduction to the Alexander Technique?
I am a singer and trained actor myself, and I began studying the Alexander Technique years ago when my Juilliard voice teacher told me I had too much neck tension and needed AT lessons. As a child I had come to grief as a viola player, because my musicality and perfect pitch were way ahead of my physical ability to manage the instrument. I did not want to make the same mistake as a singer, so I signed up for an AT workshop at Manhattan School of Music and started private lessons right after that.

What is the Alexander Technique?
Let’s start by saying what Alexander Technique is NOT! It is not an exercise system, although it will help you to do yoga, or run or swim, or sing or act, or whatever you wish to apply your thinking and attention to. It is also NOT a philosophy. Alexander Technique is completely in the body and it is not an abstraction. It is taught by the gentle, non-invasive touch of a trained teacher, and then it becomes a “physical awareness practice” for the student. It is a learned “mindfulness” of how to be and move in your body, and this practice then serves as an efficient tool in whatever you choose to apply it to. Once you learn how to pay attention and direct your body, it takes a half a second to reorient and re-activate oneself on stage. Neuro-physics today totally corroborates Alexander’s completely practical method for using your mental and physical self to best advantage. AND it’s fun!

... Read More →

Related Categories:
2014-2015 Season, A Conversation with, Into the Woods

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