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Nov. 3: Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama Presents Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Into the Woods"


Eric Sloss                            

Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama Presents
Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Into the Woods"

Into the WoodsPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama presents Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's collaborative musical "Into the Woods" Nov. 13-22 in the university's Philip Chosky Theater. "Into the Woods" is directed by acclaimed director Kent Gash (A'82), associate artistic director of The Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta.
An interview with Gash about this year's production of "Into the Woods" is available on the College of Fine Arts podcast program Lab A6 at
The work integrates — and twists — the storylines of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack the Giant-Slayer and Little Red Riding Hood into one extravagant master plot. Based on Bruno Bettelheim's book "The Uses of Enchantment," the musical has won several Tony Awards, including Best Score, Best Book and Best Revival. "Into the Woods" weaves traditional storylines around an original plot following the Baker and his wife in their quest to produce a child. Cursed with infertility by a vindictive witch, the only way to reverse the spell is by assembling the ingredients for one of her magic potions. Along the way, the couple encounters various Brothers Grimm characters, each with their own discontents and unfulfilled desires.
The musical delves into the darker side of beloved childhood fairytales, drawing out the reality behind happily-ever-after. "Shades of Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and Bruno Bettelheim dog the characters' footsteps. Their tales resonate with such mythic-psychiatric staples as abandonment fears, Oedipal loves and hatreds, and the romance of the unattainable," said Ben Brantley, chief theater critic of The New York Times.
As part of a new, season-long initiative at the School of Drama, students in the Production Dramaturgy Program will hold talkbacks with the audience, cast and crew following the Tuesday evening performance of "Into the Woods." The dramaturgs are also available to discuss the play with classes, student groups and public organizations. Contact Michael Chemers, dramaturgy option coordinator, at or 412-268-2399, to schedule a session with a dramaturg.
Gash has served on the faculty at UCLA, the American Conservatory Theatre and Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College Program. His distinguished directing credits include such noted theatres as The Kennedy Center, True Colors, Sundance Institute, Trinity Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Co. and many others. He is a member of the board of directors of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Melting Pot Theatre Co. in New York City and the Non-Traditional Casting Project. Born and raised in Denver, Colo., Gash is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television.
Performances of "Into the Woods" take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $25 to $29 and can be purchased online at Discounts are available for students and seniors. For additional information about ticket purchases and upcoming performances, contact the School of Drama box office at 412-268-2407 between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Pictured above are students Jon-Michael Reese as the Baker, Roberta Burke as the Baker’s Wife and Amanda Jane Cooper as Little Red Riding Hood. Photo by Joshua Franzos.