+1(978)310-4246 credencewriters@gmail.com


Please compare the themes and ideas presented in

Into the Woods


South Pacific

in the proposed questions. Lectures and grading rubric are attached. At least 300 words minimum per essay question response.

Answer both

of the following questions in essay form. Please site material from the book “Rise Up”, The Lectures/ Videos, and the musicals. Please use AT LEAST one citation from each of these materials.

Bold your citation and if you use a direct quote please bold that as well. I am looking for a balance between citation and your opinion analysis. You should have these elements in both of your answers

1. The Witch in

Into The Woods

in the song “Children Will Listen” and Cable in

South Pacific

in the song

“You Have to Be Carefully Taught”

both talk about the way we learn and what we as humans learn. How are these the same ideas? Where do they diverge from each other ( aka – what specifically is each character talking about)? Where have you seen examples of their ideas ( opinions) In your personal experience or personal observations?

2. We could say that both of these shows deal with a specific time in American History.

South Pacific

is set during World War II and

Into The Woods

during the 1980s at the height of a pandemic. Although I want to point out the

Into The Woods

transcends many times in history as well as our present. In your opinion what do these two shows tell us about the community? At the end of the shows, do you think there is hope that the respective communities will achieve the goals that the writers presented? Why or Why not?

South Pacific -The Writers of the
Musical and The Book
From Lincoln Center
The Writers: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II With Richard Rodgers
composing the music and Oscar Hammerstein II writing the words, Rodgers and
Hammerstein became perhaps the most successful writing team in the history of
musical theater.
Through a series of groundbreaking shows throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, they
changed the face of the American theater. Richard Rodgers (1902–1979), achieved
fame through twenty years of writing songs, from the 1920’s through the early 1940’s,
with lyricist Lorenz Hart. Together they wrote more than 40 lighthearted, sophisticated
musical comedies, including On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, I
Married an Angel and Pal Joey. At the same time, Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960)
became famed for his work writing the words for operettas, or “light opera” which had its
roots in 19th century Europe. He collaborated with a number of composers, including
Rudolf Friml and Sigmund Romberg.
The shows he wrote include The Desert Song, Rose-Marie and The New Moon. He
tackled many challenging issues in his work, including racial issues. Show Boat, written
in 1927 with Jerome Kern, and Carmen Jones, was an all-black revisiting of Georges
Bizet’s tragic opera Carmen.
Rodgers and Hammerstein first collaborated in 1943 on Oklahoma!, a show that is
widely considered to be the first true musical play, combining elements of musical
comedy and operetta to create a more integrated, dramatic musical form than had been
seen before. Their subsequent works include
Carousel, Allegro, South Pacific, The King and I, Me and Juliet, Pipe Dream, Flower
Drum Song and The Sound of Music.
They also wrote the movie musical, State Fair, and for television, Cinderella. Rodgers
and Hammerstein’s musicals won many honors, including a total of 35 Tony Awards, 15
Academy Awards, 2 Pulitzer Prizes, 2 Grammy Awards and 2 Emmy Awards.
Oscar Hammerstein II died in 1960, but Rodgers continued to write for the Broadway
stage. No Strings, the first show he wrote without a partner, won Tony Awards for both
music and lyrics. He followed it with Do I Hear a Waltz?, Two by Two, Rex and I
Remember Mama, which opened on Broadway in 1979, only a few months before
Rodgers died.
The Co-Author: Joshua Logan Joshua Logan brought the idea for South Pacific to
Rodgers and Hammerstein, although originally he only intended to be the show’s
director. But Hammerstein found himself having trouble writing military jargon and
Logan, who had served in the military, offered to help. Although, at this point
Hammerstein had not co-written a libretto for almost 20 years, he discovered that Logan
was a helpful sounding board. And so Logan became Hammerstein’s co-author. Joshua
Logan was born in Texarkana, Texas in 1908 and became a leading director, writer, and
producer in theater and in movies. He attended Princeton University but left before
graduating to study with the famous Russian director and acting teacher, Konstantin
Stanislavsky in Moscow.
The Book that inspired the Musical
The Novelist:
James Michener James Michener wrote the original book, Tales of the South Pacific,
which Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan adapted into South
James Michener was born in New York City in 1907 and grew up in Bucks County,
Pennsylvania. His first career was teaching teachers, after which he edited textbooks
until he joined the Navy during World War II.
As a lieutenant junior grade, he was stationed at Espiritu Santo in the South Pacific.
When he returned, he published Tales of the South Pacific, based on his wartime
experiences, and the book’s success began his career as one of America’s leading
Tales of the South Pacific won Michener the 1948 Pulitzer Prize, and was, of course,
the basis for South Pacific. Over the next 40 years, he wrote 23 novels, 5 art books, a
book of sonnets, and literally hundreds of articles, introductions, contributions to
collections, and other works. He became particularly known for well-researched
historical fiction, such as Hawaii, Chesapeake, Space, Texas, and Alaska. Michener
also ran for Congress and took on political roles including serving as a cultural
ambassador to many countries.
He was a member of the Advisory Council to the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) and the advisory committee of the U.S. Postal Service. In
addition to his Pulitzer Prize, Michener received many honors, including the Medal of
Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States, and an award from the
President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
He died in 1997, at age 90
Into The Woods – Lecture
Into The Woods Lecture
Hopefully, you have read or watched Into The Woods (ITW) before reading this short
lecture. I am keeping it short so I leave you something to talk about when you write your
response to the discussion questions. I do want to give you a little more context for the
Into The Woods, the 1988 Tony Award winner for both Score and Book of a musical, is
a brilliantly conceived exploration of what happens after “happily ever after.” The show,
which has an enchanting, moving, and profound score by Stephen Sondheim, and a
powerful, witty book by James Lapine, opened on Broadway on November 5, 1987, at
the Martin Beck Theatre under the direction of Mr. Lapine. ( MTI)
BRIEF HISTORY of a main event 1987 that influenced Sondheim:
ITW was produced at the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States in 1987. Also the
year I graduated from High School – so I have very clear memories of that time. There
was this pandemic, AIDS, that was killing a lot of people. As a theatre person, I lost a lot
of friends. You see when AIDS first presented itself the government didn’t care. They
ignored it and called it a “gay” disease and said it would go away. Even if it didn’t
homosexuals were disposal, not really a valued part of society. The government had
very little interest once Doctors did identify the cause, in curing the disease. Even
though the disease could easily have been stopped in its tracks if people had worn
protection. And surprisingly it didn’t just affect homosexual men. People who were
diagnosed were ostracized and socially distancing wasn’t an issue. Even though people
knew blood or other bodily fluids had to be exchanged to contract the disease – the fear
was rampant.
So re-cap. Pandemic, a certain population were supposedly the only people who could
catch it and they were thought of as disposable, the government denied it was a big
deal and failed to act to protect people, easily protected against by wearing protection Millions died.
It is important that you have this context to understand the themes, Sondheim and Lapin
were addressing and why. “Sondheim and Lapine bring us through a maze that mirrors
the complexity of everyday existence. Like the characters in Into The Woods, we end
this journey aware of the moral consequences of our actions and the power of
tolerance, community, and shared sacrifice. ”
It is a POWERFUL message dressed in fun songs, beautiful music, and FAMILIAR
HOWEVER let me be clear. Sondheim does not say it is about AIDS. He does call it a
study on society and community. There has been a lot discussion on this over the years
since it first premiered on Broadway.
Stephen Sondheim wrote a musical based on some Grimm fairytale characters and a
made up story ( the Baker and his Wife). Please note in the first act unless you are
familiar with Grimm’s original fairytales they may have held a bit of horror for you (
cutting off heels and such). This was Grimm’s original version, not our beloved Disney (
I do like my happy endings).
Sondheim and Lapine had read “The Uses of Enchantments” by Bettlehiem (if you dig
deeper you will find this gentleman is not without his controversy but he is not our
focus). This is book looked at the darker sides of Grimms Fairytales ( yes – they could
get even darker!) and beyond the very few “Happily Ever After” stories the brothers
wrote. Bettlehiem dug into the deep psychology of the fairytale. So did Sondheim and
Back to pandemics: One of the major themes of ITW is the community, the world,
sacrifice or scapegoating, care of community, or isolation. One of the original questions
asked in 1987 by the theatre’s education department was:
“Can you think of instances when disasters have caused members of communities to
respond selfishly? Can you think of examples when the opposite has been the case?”
Here are some other questions Sondheim asked his audience when they first
released ITW.
“What is truth?
What is a lie?
What is the difference between a small lie and a big lie?
Some of the characters in Into The Woods freely employ deceit to accomplish their goals. Is
lying ever justified?
How does deceit contribute to the downfall of the community?
Is the presence of deceit inevitable in human relationships?
The one I bolded was directly aimed at the lies President Ronald Regan was telling that
allowed the needless spread of AIDS.
The last question I will share with you from there education department is:
“Write an essay about individual responsibility for a major community problem such as
homelessness, hunger, water pollution, or the care of patients with AIDS.”
These questions are for you to think about – they are not our discussion question for the
week, but if you explore these questions, they could inform your answers in our
assigned discussion. I think they give insight into what Sondheim and Lapin were trying
to tell people.
At the end of Act 1 everything seems blissful and looks like we will have our happy
ending – but in Act 2 we see the consequences of the choices that the character’s made
in the first act. We also see the maturation that all the characters make – or do not
It is a cautionary tale. It points us in the direction of solutions. A complicated
solution. More about that in the discussion prompt.
Midterm Rubric
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeClass outcome: Identify the
connection between the text of the musical and the finished product.
In both questions does the student fully explore the musical and the themes and
ideas presented by the writers?
40 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeCourse outcome: Analyze the
relationship between American culture and Musical Theatre.
In question two does the student explore this relationship? Do they use tethered
and integrated quotes from all materials to support their ideas?
75 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeClass outcome: Analyze how the
songs, dances and book all work to tell the story of a musical.
75 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeExplore themes and ideas
Does the student state their opinion and justify that opinion with personal
analysis and citations from the material?
70 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning Outcome:Clear that the student understood
the material
Is the student familiar with the characters? The themes of the shows? The song
titles? The history provided in the lectures?
40 pts
Midterm Rubric

Purchase answer to see full

error: Content is protected !!