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UMW's production of "Into the Woods" marks 100th anniversary of UMW theater

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Date published: 11/8/2012


It may be chock-full of fairy-tale characters, but "Into the Woods" is no Disney musical.

The University of Mary Washington Department of Theatre and Dance's fall production, "Into the Woods," by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, opened in Klein Theatre on Nov. 2 and will run through Nov. 18.

"Into the Woods" tells the story of a baker and his wife who are desperate to have a child. When they discover that the reason they are childless is that there is a curse on them, their neighbor--a witch--sends them on a quest to collect the four ingredients for a potion that can break the spell: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn and a slipper as pure as gold.

So the couple ventures into the woods, where they encounter many characters from Grimm and other fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.

Each character has its own story line that manages to get twisted together with the others.

From hilarious mishaps to emotional tragedy, this Tony-winning musical puts a twist on the fairy tales everyone knows and loves to create a mature, moral-driven reality check.


This year marks the 100th anniversary of theater at UMW. According to Gregg Stull, director of "Into the Woods," the university is celebrating that 100 years by revisiting shows it has done in the past.

"Into the Woods," which premiered on Broadway in 1987, was performed at UMW in 1995.

"We felt it was a great title worth revisiting," said Stull, who is also a professor and chairman of the Department of Theatre and Dance. "The music is extraordinary."

It is particularly appropriate to mark the 100-year anniversary with a fairy-tale-themed piece, since the first production that UMW put on was "Alice in Wonderland."


Just as the characters from different fairy tales come together in the musical, members of the UMW and Fredericksburg communities are collaborating on this production.

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What: "Into the Woods" When: Through Nov. 18. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.; 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14. Where: Klein Theatre in duPont Hall at the University of Mary Washington. Cost: $24 general admission, $20 for senior citizens and students with any student ID. Info and tickets: 540/654-1111; umw.tix.com.