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Character Discussions! 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:24 pm
Posts: 354
Main Role: Performer
Post Character Discussions!
I saw the thread that we had about discussing the Baker's Wife and I figured, "Hey, we should do that for the other characters, too!"

Hence this topic. I guess we can just choose someone to discuss and talk about and such - it doesn't HAVE to just be interpretive stuff, I'm can be vocal stuff or tips (or rather, opinions) for playing the character...whatever you want! I just figured it would be kinda nice to have an ongoing discussion topic around here that lets us really get to know the show better.

So, let's start with...Milky White!

Nah, just kidding, although, I'm sure that we could think of stuff for her if we wanted. :P

How about Little Red Riding Hood? I'm sure those of us who've studied the fairy tale pretty much know the symbolism in that story, but what about her character development throughout ItW?


Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:40 pm
Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 4:33 pm
Posts: 1531
Location: A Dull Provincal Town
Red? You mean the character I've been extensively studying since I was thirteen?

Yeah, I think I could do a character analysis.

Quick symbolism overview for those less familiar: Perrault only wrote it as a warning against nice men who want to rape little girls (the red cloak is a sign of a prostitute). Grimm's is much deeper, but I won't make your head start spinning.

When Red skips on, I see her as this 12 year old girl. Still a child in age but certainly old enough to be mature enough for a wolf to be interested in. Several clues indicate her personality: she can afford to buy out thier last loaf of bread, four sticky buns, a few pies and all of thier cookies. I'd guess she's been rather spoiled too, getting a red cloak, a wolf fur coat and a knife just from Granny. She claims to be quite fearless too: "I have no fear nor no one should".

And off she goes into the Woods. Judging by how persisent she tries to stay On the path, I'd say this is her first time by herself. Because she is willingly to leave home for the Woods though, she fails to see the dangers, hence her being naive.

She answers the Wolf nicely and finally agrees with him that Granny might like a fresh bouquet. Strange, isn't it, due to the lack of respect she tends to show the Baker. I have a highly important explanation for this!

Red's at that age when one doesn't like to be called a child. Despite her actual age, she feels she is rather mature enough to handle things herself and follow the path to Granny's alone. The Wolf plays on that, calling her a young lady at first while the Baker refers to her only as a little girl, which doesn't make her very happy.
Skipping ahead to Grandmother's house: Red feels uneasy and questions the Wolf in drag, "What big eyes you have!" etc. Despite her wanting, she's still very much a naive girl and she's starting to feel rather out of depth. The Baker cuts the Wolf open, they are saved! Red knows things now, isn't it nice to know a lot? And a little bit not.

Why the violent, stones in the stomach death of the Wolf and then skinning him and getting a knife? If she is to be safe
from predators like him again, she must
defend herself and overcome any weakness or fear he inspired.

So, now we have a not so naive Red who even gave up her security blanket-like red
cloak to the Baker. Instead, she's rather
defensive (she turns on Jack with her knife), ready to fight back rather than risk being seduced in any way by a man again.

She remains this way up until during Act 2. We still see her wanting to be not a little
girl anymore by arguing that she's been to Granny's many times before. But if we skip to the giant scene, things get murkier. She is determined to stay on the path which goes back to her fear of what happened last time and her feeling unable to let anyone know she can't handle that.

So, she threatens the Narrator with her little knife until the Baker's Wife tells her to put it away like Red's mother ought to have. Yet, she is badly affected by seeing 3 people die and now Jack will probably too. ?
She doesn't like seeing innocent people dying which is why she turned on the Narrator first. They saw him as useless until he pointed out his neccesary duty.

She tries to be an adult again, going looking for the boy so she takes immense responsibility for the baby while they are gone instead.

Who knows what happened to her while the Bakers were off bring seduced/looking for Jack? I have my own thoughts but that speculation so I'll hurry to Your Fault.

Her wolf coat is gone from this point on. She's losing that defense and starting to actually want to be a child again which, of course means she can't. In the OBC (but not my production) she gives the baby to Cinderella. Make of that what you will. But that crack in her defenses leaves her wanting someone to blame for this because she's feeling rather punished to have her mother dead and she can't very well stab a giant with her knife. She wants answers and revenge and somebody to give her them.

Last Midnight...the Witch rather shames her into completely breaking down her defenses as she at last completely admits that straying from the path was her fault. Child has grown into a young adult and like she was as a child, abandoned by her father-figure (there is no mention of her father ever, so I assume he died before the show and it may be why she's so spoiled and coddled).

The Baker returns, he is to take her to Granny's but she comes back. Red tries to be a big girl but Cinderella comforts her that even grown-ups don't always know what to do, no one is alone, yadada.

Hooray! The giant's dead! But so is everyone else.

Red is no longer a child and she offers to be Jack's mother but he says he'd rather have a friend (and a pet). She doesn't argue with that. And then she invites herself to come live with the Baker and Cinderella gets to come too.

Finale: the Baker is telling the only child left thier story. Red and Jack are he children who listened and grew and had to go Into the Woods to face thief own journeys.

(and a thought on ages: I think Act 2 is a year and a half later to give time for the weddings and the babies. Plus I think it would be neat to have the Woods pretty for Spring in Act 1 and all spooky in autumn for Act 2. So if Red was 12 in Act 1, she'd be 13 in Act 2 presuming she already had her birthday.)

Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:57 pm
Chorus Member
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Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:58 pm
Posts: 62
Current Obsession: NEXT TO NORMAL! Spring Awakening, Ragtime.
Main Role: Performer
Post Re: Character Discussions!
Wow. Thank you ConverseSneaker, that was really interesting. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You had a lot of points that I had never really considered before! WOW! :)

Like a firework unexploded wanting life but never knowing how!
Favorite Past Roles:
Adelaide- Guys and Dolls
Fauna-Disney's Sleeping Beauty
Jester- Once Upon a Materess
Babette- Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Mrs. Paroo- Music Man

Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:44 pm
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