Into the Woods (revised – pick up on page 113)

Wife begins counting her steps as she heads offstage. She stops and retraces her steps, uncertain of her direction. She begins to go into another direction when she stops, hearing the approach of the giant in the distance. The sound moves steadily toward her. In panic she retreats. Loud noise and dramatic light and set change as Wife begins to run. Blackout. Music fades. Lights up on Baker, Cinderella and Little Red Ridinghood.

Baker (worried): She should be back by now.

LRR: She wouldn't get lost.

Cinderella: I'm sure she'll return.

(Wife appears, clothes and hair disheveled)

Baker: Where have you been? What happened to you?

Wife: Well… (Exhausted)…the giant…

Witch makes a noisy entrance with Jack in tow; she keeps a firm grip on his ear.

Witch: Look who I found!

Jack: Please don't let her feed me to the giant!

Witch: It's not our fault the giant wants you!

Jack: You're hurting me!

Cinderella: Let go of him!

LRR: Leave him alone!

Witch (letting go): You should talk little girl, I'm sure the wolf would have liked to have been let go.

LRR: That's different! The wolf tried to kill us!

Witch: And the Giant is trying to kill us! Now it's time to get the boy to the giant be for we are all dead meat. Boom Crunch!

She goes toward Jack; music.

Wife (still exhausted): Keep away from him!

Witch: Listen to you, the Baker's little tart, are you still exhausted from your roll in hay?

Baker: …what?

Witch: this is no time to be soft-hearted! He's going to the giant and I'm taking him–

Baker: Yes. He's the one to blame. It's because of you there is a giant in our midst and we're all going to die.

JACK
But it isn't my fault,
I was given those beans!
You persuaded me to trade away
My cow for beans!
And without those beans
There'd have been no stalk
To get up to the Giants
In the first place!

BAKER
Wait a minute, magic beans
For a cow so old
That you had to tell
A lie to sell
It, which you told!
Were they worthless beans?
Were they oversold?
Oh, and tell us who
Persuaded you
To steal that gold.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (To Jack)
See, it's your fault.

JACK
No!

BAKER
So it's your fault...

JACK
No!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Yes, it is!

JACK
It's not!

BAKER
It's true.

JACK
Wait a minute-
But I only stole the gold
To get my
Cow back from you!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (To Baker)
So it's your fault!

JACK
Yes!

BAKER
No, it isn't!
I'd have kept those beans,
But our house was cursed.
She made us get the cow to get
The curse reversed!

WITCH
It's you father's fault
That the curse got placed
And the place got cursed
In the first place!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Oh.
Then it's his fault!

WITCH
So.

CINDERELLA
It was his fault...

JACK
No.

BAKER
Yes, it is,
It's his.

CINDERELLA
I guess...

JACK
Wait a minute, though-
I chopped down the beanstalk-
Right? That's clear.
But without any beanstalk,
Then what's queer
Is how did the second Giant get down here
In the first place?

Second place...

CINDERELLA
Yes!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
How?

BAKER
Hmmm...

JACK
Well,
Who had the other bean?

BAKER
The other bean?

CINDERELLA
The other bean?

JACK (To Baker)
You pocketed the other bean.

BAKER
I didn't!
Yes I did.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
So it's your-!

BAKER
No, it isn't,
'Cause I gave it to my Wife!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
So it's her-!

WIFE
No, it isn't!

CINDERELLA
Then whose is it?

WIFE (To Cinderella)
Wait a minute!
I exchanged that bean
To obtain your shoe,
So the one who knows what happened
To that bean is you!

CINDERELLA
You mean that old bean-
That you-? Oh, dear-
But I never knew,
And so I threw-
Well, don't look here!

WIFE
So it's your fault!

CINDERELLA
But-

JACK
See, it's her fault-

CINDERELLA
But-

JACK
And it isn't mine at all!

BAKER (To Cinderella)
But what?

CINDERELLA (To Jack)
Well, if you hadn't gone
Back up again-

JACK
We were needy-

CINDERELLA
You were greedy!
Did you need that hen?

JACK
But I got it for my Mother-!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
So it's her fault then!

CINDERELLA
Yes? And what the harp
In the third place?

BAKER
The harp- yes!

JACK
She went and dared me to!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
I dared you to?

JACK
You dared me to!
She said that I was scared-

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Me?

JACK
To.
She dared me!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
No, I didn't!

BAKER, WIFE, CINDERELLA, JACK
so it's your fault!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
Wait a minute-!

CINDERELLA
If you hadn't dared him to-

BAKER (To Jack)
And you had left the harp alone,
We wouldn't be in trouble
In the first place!

WIFE (To Cinderella)
Well, if you hadn't thrown away the bean
In the first place-!

CINDERELLA
Well, if she hadn't raised them in the first place-!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (To Cinderella)
It's was your fault!

JACK (To Witch)
Yes, if you hadn't raised them in the first place-!

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD & BAKER (To Witch)
Right! It's you raised them in the first place-!

WIFE & CINDERELLA
You raised the beans in the first place!

JACK
It's your fault!

CINDERELLA, WIFE, JACK, BAKER, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
You're responsible!
You're the one to blame!
It's your fault!

WITCH
Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!

It's the last midnight.
It's the last wish.
It's the last midnight,
Soon it will be boom-
Squish!
Told a little lie,
Stole a little gold,
Broke a little vow,
Did you?

Had to get your Prince,
Has to get your cow,
Have to get your wish,
Doesn't matter how-
Anyway, it doesn't matter now.

It's the last midnight,
It's the boom-
Splat!
Nothing but a vast midnight.
Everybody smashed flat!

Nothing we can do.
Not exactly true:
We can always give her the boy...

No?
No, of course what really matters
Is the blame,
Somebody to blame.
Fine, if that's the thing you enjoy,
Placing the blame,
If that's the aim,
Give me the blame-
Just give me the boy.

THE OTHERS
No!

WITCH
No?

You're so nice.
You're not good,
You're not bad,
You're just nice.
I'm not good,
I'm not nice,
I'm just right.
I'm the Witch.
You're the world.

I'm the hitch.
I'm what no one believes,
I'm the Witch.
You're all liars and thieves,
Like his father,
Like his son will be, too-
Oh, why bother?
You'll just do what you do.

It's the last midnight,
So, goodbye all.
Coming at you fast, midnight-
Soon you'll see the sky fall.

Here, you want a bean?

Have another bean.
Beans were made for making you rich!
Plant them and they soar-
Here, you want some more?
Listen to the roar...
Giants by the score-!
Oh well, you can blame another witch.

It's the last midnight.
It's the last verse.
Now, before it's past midnight,
I'm leaving you my last curse:

I'm leaving you alone.
You can tend the garden, it's yours.
Separate and alone,
Everybody down on all fours.

All right, mother, when?
Lost the beans again!
Punish me the way you did then!
Give me claws and a hunch,
Just away from this bunch
And the gloom
And the doom
And the boom
Cruuunch!

She disappears; long beat. Everybody slowly rises.

JACK (quiet): Maybe I shouldn't stolen from the giant…

LRR (quiet): Maybe I shouldn't have strayed from the path…

CINDERELLA (quiet): Maybe I shouldn't have attended the ball…

WIFE (quiet): Maybe I shouldn't have (BAKER snaps to her)…

BAKER: Maybe you shouldn't have…

WIFE: I have something to tell you.

Baker ignores her and begins to exit

JACK: Where are you going?

BAKER: Away from here

LRR (frightened): But you said we had to find our way out of this together.

BAKER: It doesn't matter whether we're together or apart.

JACK: We need your help.

WIFE: I need your help (indicating to the baby)

BAKER (despondent): My child would be happier in the arms of another.

WIFE: Wait… (to Cinderella) Will you watch my son?

CINDERELLA: Of course.

Music; another part of the woods. Baker crosses stage. Wife follows.

WIFE: Will you let me explain?

BAKER: Explain what? If you explain I am bound to be more hurt than I currently am. I think it best to leave it.

WIFE: I didn't know what I was doing. I was foolish. I would take it back in a moment.

BAKER: You could have died out there! Where was your head? You could be dead.

WIFE: I believe a part of me is.

BAKER: I guess that is the price one pays to be left alone in the woods.

WIFE: Please…How was I to know? How are we ever to know? When I found myself in those woods I had the biggest pit in my stomach. I just about ran, right there, from my guilt, from you, from our family but I couldn't run. I wish you could make the choice.

BAKER: I'm not running away.

WIFE: Aren't you?

BAKER: No more questions, please.
No more tests.
Comes the day you say, 'What for?'
Please… no more.

WIFE: We disappoint, we disappear, we lie, but we don't.
we disappoint in turn, I fear,
Forgive, though, you won't.

No more riddles.
No more jests.
No more curses you can't undo, left by fathers you never knew.
No more quests.
No more feelings. Time to shut the door.
Just… No more.

Running away, let's do it.
Free from the ties that bind.
No more despair, or burdens to bear,
Out there in the yonder.
Running away, go to it.
Where did you have in mind?
Have to take care ... unless there's a 'where',
You'll only be wandering blind.
Just more questions... different kind.
Where are we to go?
Where are we ever to go?
Running away, we'll do it.
Why sit around, resigned?
Trouble is, hun, the farther you run,
The more you'll feel undefined.
For what you have left undone, and more,
What you've left behind.

We disappoint, we leave a mess, we lie, but we don't.

BAKER: We disappoint in turn, I guess. Forget, though, we won't.

BOTH: It takes you.

BAKER: No more giants waging war!
Can't we just pursue our lives, with our children and our wives,
'Til that happy day arrives, how do you ignore
All the witches, all the curses,
WIFE: All the wolves, all the lies,

BAKER: the false hopes, the good-bye's,
The reverses,
All the wondering what even worse is still in store!
WIFE: All the children.
BAKER: All the giants...
BOTH: No more.

With resolve, the two return to the group.

CINDERELLA: I knew he wouldn't give up

JACK: He wouldn't leave his baby.

LRR: It looked like he was going to.

Cinderella and Jack shoot her a look.

BAKER: May I have my son? (Cinderella nods; he takes the baby in his arms; baby begins to cry) He always cries when I hold – (Wife pushes baby close to his chest and baby stops crying; beat).

CINDERELLA: Now what are we going to do?

WIFE: We must have a plan before the giant returns.

JACK: What?

BAKER: We all have to think!

JACK: If there were just some way we could surprise her.

LRR: She's too tall to surprise.

Bird descend.

CINDERELLA: Oh, good friends. I need your help now more than ever. (She listens) What of the Prince (She listens with resolve) I don't care! (Wife turns away slightly) What's important now is that we find a way to tell the giant. How can you help? (She listens) How can ever thank you? (Birds fly off)

LRR: You can talk to birds?

CINDERELLA: The birds will help.

JACK: How?

CINDERELLA: When the giant returns, they'll attack her and peck out her eyes till she's blind.

WIFE: What good will that do?

CINDERELLA: Then you can surprise her. Strike her, or whatever you do to kill a giant.

BAKER: Once she's blinded, she'll stagger about.

JACK: she'll get angry.

LRR: And she'll crush us all.

(Beat.)

BAKER: Smear the ground with pitch.

CINDERELLA: Yes!

BAKER: We'll lure her to area smeared with pitch.

CINDERELLA: Her shoes will stick, and she won't be able to move.

JACK: And I will climb the tree and strike her from behind.

BAKER: I will climb the tree, too. It may take two mighty blows.

LRR: I'm excited

JACK: I'm going to kill another giant.

BAKER: Quick it'll be dark soon. We must find the pitch.

WIFE: I know where there is some.

BAKER: Leave the baby with her. He'll be the safest here with you. This will take no time.

Baker, LRR, Jack and Wife exit. Baby begins to cry.

Cinderella: Oh no. Now, now. Don't cry, little one. (Baby begins to calm down; Cinderella's Prince bounds onstage; he doesn't recognize Cinderella)

Prince: Hello. (he begins to cross the stage)

Cinderella: The giant went in that direction.

Prince (realizing that it is Cinderella): My darling. I did not recognize you. What are you doing in those old clothes? And with a child? You must go back to the castle at once. There's a giant on the loose.

CINDERELLA: The giant has been to the castle.

PRINCE: NO! Are you all right? (He moves to her; she nods and walks away) My love. Why are you being so cold?

CINDERELLA: Maybe because I am not your only love am I?

PRINCE (Beat): I love you. Truly I do. (Pause) But yes, it's true.

CINDERELLA: Why, if you love me, would you have strayed?

PRINCE: I thought if you were mine, then I would never wish for more. And part of me is content and as happy as I've been. But there remains a part of me that continually needs more.

CINDERELLA: I have, on occasion, wanted more. But that doesn't mean I went in search of it. If this is how you behave as a prince, what kind of king will you be?

PRINCE: I was raised to be charming, not sincere. I didn't ask to be born a king, and I am not perfect. I am only human.

CINDERELLA: I think you should go.

PRINCE: Leave? But I do love you.

CINDERELLA: Consider that I have been lost. A victim of the giant.

PRINCE: Is that what you really wish?

CINDERELLA: My father's house was a nightmare, your house was a dream. Now I want something in between. Please go. (he begins to exit)

PRINCE: I shall always love the maiden who ran away.

CINDERELLA: And I the faraway prince. (He exits. Another moment for Cinderella with the Baby. LRR and Wife enter.)

WIFE: They're almost finished. You see over there between those two trees? When the giant comes, we are to send her over there.

CINDERELLA: Good.

LRR: I wanted to climb the tree, too.

CINDERELLA: I'm glad you're here to help us.

(Little red begins to cry ; music)

Wife: What's wrong?

LRR: My granny's gone.

Wife: Oh, no. I'm sorry (Both Cinderella and Wife move to comfort her)

LRR: I think my granny and my mother would be upset with me.

CINDERELLA: Why?

LRR: They said to always make them proud. And here I am about to kill somebody.

WIFE: Not somebody. A giant who has been doing harm.

LRR: But the giant's a person. Aren't we to show forgiveness? Mother would be very unhappy with these circumstances.

CINDERELLA: Mother cannot guide you
Now you're on your own
Only me beside you
Still, you're not alone
No one is alone, truly
No one is alone

WIFE: Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood
Others may deceive you
You decide what's good
You decide alone
But no one is alone

LRR:
I wish...

WIFE AND CINDERELLA:
I know.

Jack: Wait until my mother hears I've slain the giant.

Baker: Jack. Your mother is dead.

Jack: Dead? Was she killed by the giant?

Baker: She was was arguing with the giant—trying to protect you—and she was struck a deadly blow by the prince's steward.

Jack: Oh no. Why would he do that?

Baker: He was afraid she was provoking the giant.

Jack: Can no one bring her back?

Baker: no one.

Jack: the steward will pay for this. After we slay the giant, I will slay him!

Baker: You'll do nothing of the kind!

Jack: But he shouldn't have killed my mother, right?

Baker: I guess not.

Jack: Then he must die.

Baker: Well, no.

Jack: Why not?

Baker: Because that would be wrong.

Jack: What he did was wrong. He should be punished.

Baker: He will be, somehow.

Jack: How?

Baker: I don't know! (Angry) Stop asking my questions I can't answer.

Jack: I'm going to kill him!

Baker: Then kill him! (Beat) No, don't kill him.

Cinderella (to LRH) and Wife (to baby): Mother isn't here now

Baker:
Wrong things, right things

WIFE AND Cinderella:
Who knows what she'd say?

Baker:
Who can say what's true?

WIFE Cinderella:
Nothing's quite so clear now

Baker:
Do things, fight things

WIFE AND Cinderella:
Feel you've lost your way?
But-

Baker:
You decide, but

ALL 3:
You are not alone

Cinderella:
Believe me,

CINDERELLA AND WIFE:

No one is alone

Baker:
No one is alone
Believe me

WIFE:
Truly

ALL 3:
You move just a finger
Say the slightest word
Something's bound to linger
Be heard

Baker:
No acts alone
Careful
No one is alone

WIFE:
People make mistakes

Baker:
Fathers

Cinderella:
Mothers

ALL 3:
People make mistakes
Holding to their own
Thinking they're alone

Cinderella:
Honor their mistakes

Baker:
Fight for their mistakes

WIFE:
Everybody makes

ALL 3:
One another's terrible mistakes
Witches can be right
Giants can be good
You decide what's right
You decide what's good

Cinderella:
Just remember

WIFE AND Baker:
Just remember

ALL 3:
Someone is on your side

Jack, LRR:
Our side

ALL 3:
Our side
Someone else is not
While we're seeing our side

Jack, LRR:
Our side

THE THREE:
Our side

All:
Maybe we forgot
They are not alone
No one is alone

Cinderella:
Hard to see the light now

Baker:
Just don't let it go

WIFE:
Things will come out right now

THE THREE:

We can make it so
Someone is on your side
No one is -

Songis interrupted by the sound of the giant approaching the distance; music fades.

LRR: Here she comes!

CINDERELLA: Remember. Don't let her know our plans.

Ground trembles; shadow is cast.

GIANT: Where is the boy?

LRR: We don't know!

Wife: Yes we do! We can't go on hiding him any longer. He must play the price for his wrongs.

Giant: quickly tell me where he is!

LRR: (points) over there.

Cinderella: See that tree where the birds are clustered? Jack is in that tree, hiding.

Giant: Thank you. Now justice will be served and I shall leave your kingdom.

Giant turns and heads away. We hear the sounds of birds attacking in the distance; Cinderella, wife and LRR watch eagerly. We barely hear them over the roar of the giant; music.

Cinderella: Good birds!

Cry from the giant.

LRR: She doesn't look happy!

We hear the giant pounded on the head; another cry.

Wife: (Grimace) Ouch!

Another cry.

LRR: (Disgusted): The club is stuck in her head!

Cinderella: They've done it! She's swaying.

LRR: She's bleeding all over.

Cinderella: She's beginning to fall!

Wife: She's beginning to fall this way!

They back off stage quickly, as the loudest noise of all resounds. The giant's forehead and mane of hair fall from the wing. LRR, Wife and Cinderella race off in the direction of Jack and the Baker. Finale music begins. During the following sequence the characters enter, give their morals, and remain onstage.

Jack's Mother: The slotted spoon CAN catch the potato...

Mysterious Man: Every knot was once straight rope...

Princes: The harder to wake, the better to have...

Snow White, Sleeping Beauty: (Yawn) Excuse me.

Steward: The greater the good, the harder the blow...

Stepmother: When going to hide, know how to get there.

Cinderella's Father: And how to get back...

Florinda, Lucinda: And eat first...

Granny: The knife that is sharp today may be dull by tomorrow...

Rapunzel: Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah…

Baker: Maybe we just weren't meant to have children-

Wife: Don't say that! Of course we were meant to have children…

Baker: But how will I go about being a father
If I can't calm the child?

Wife: Just calm the child.

Baker: Yes, calm the child.

Wife: Look, tell him the story of how it all happened.
Just follow your instinct, you'll know what to do.

Baker: Alone...

Wife: Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Do not let it grieve you,
No one leaves for good.
You are not alone.
No one is alone.
Hold him to the light now,
Let him see the glow.
Things will be all right now.
Tell him what you know...

Baker: Shhh. Once upon a time...in a far-off kingdom...lived a young
maiden...a sad young lad...and a childless baker...with his wife.

Witch [simultaneously with Baker]:
Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.
Guide them along the way,
Children will glisten.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.
Careful before you say,
"Listen to me."
Children will listen.

Company: (SLOW) Careful the wish you make,
Wishes are children.
Careful the path they take,
Wishes come true,
Not free.
Careful the spell you cast,
Not just on children.
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you...

Witch: Careful the tale you tell.
That is the spell.
Children will listen...

Company [in three groups: round](FAST): Though it's fearful,
Though it's deep, though it's dark
And though you may lose the path,
Though you may encounter wolves,
You can't just act,
You have to listen.
you can't just act,
You have to think.
Though it's dark,
There are always wolves,
There are always spells,
There are always beans,
Or a giant dwells there.{unison]
So into the woods you go again,
You have to every now and then.
Into the woods, no telling when,
Be ready for the journey.
Into the woods, but not too fast
or what you wish, you lose at last.
Into the woods, but mind the past.
Into the woods, but mind the future.
Into the woods, but not to stray,
Or tempt the wolf, or steal from the giant-

The way is dark,
The light is dim,
But now there's you, me, her, and him.
The chances look small,
The choices look grim,
But everything you learn there
Will help when you return there.

Baker, Wife, Jack, Cinderella, LRRH: The light is getting dimmer...

Baker: I think I see a glimmer-

All: Into the woods-you have to grope,
But that's the way you learn to cope.
Into the woods to find there's hope
Of getting through the journey.
Into the woods, each time you go,
There's more to learn of what you know.
Into the woods, but not too slow-
Into the woods, it's nearing midnight-
Into the woods to mind the wolf,
To heed the witch, to honor the giant,
To mind, to heed, to find, to think, to teach, to join, to go to the Festival!
Into the woods,
Into the woods,
Into the woods,
Then out of the woods-
And happy ever after!

Cinderella: I wish...