Into the woods: The American dream as fairy tale
Rogers, Thomas Edward
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This paper is based on a dramaturgical casebook created in collaboration with Nathan R. Matthews direction of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods, as produced for the University at Buffalo’s Spring 2016 season. The information supplied intended to provide historical context for a production of Into the Woods set in early 1960’s America. Considered a “golden age” of America’s history and a heyday for “The American Dream”, this paper will draw several correlations to the period ranging from the late 1950s to early 1960s, ending with the assassination of President Kennedy. This will include a brief biographical summary of Librettist James Lapine and his inspiration for Into the Woods, insight into defense planning for a possible nuclear strike from foreign nations, a critical summation of the American Dream, and also provide some context for the important figures and politics of the era. It will also provide context for consideration of the Giantess in Act 2 as a representation of a Counterfactual nuclear strike against America as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis.