The Witch is a main character and the antagonist of the musical Into the Woods.
In Act I, the Witch first appears as a haggard, old woman, who is asked by the Baker and his wife to have a child. She says she has cursed his family, but she will break the curse and grant their wish if they retrieve four items: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold. If they bring her these items in three days, she will grant them a child.
While in the woods, the Witch struggles with leaving her adopted child, Rapunzel, who she took from the Bakers mother and father long ago. The Witch has Rapunzel locked up in a tower in the woods in an attempt to protect her, but instead makes Rapunzel resent her. The Witch uses Rapunzel's long hair to get in and out of the tower, unaware that Rapunzel has been allowing a wandering prince to climb up to her as well. Struggling to keep Rapunzel for herself, the Witch blinds the prince and banishes Rapunzel to a desert, where she bears twins.
After the Witch drinks the potion that the Baker and his wife had gotten ingredients for, the spell that was laid on her is lifted. Her beauty is restored, but she has lost her magical abilities.
In Act II, the Giant that Jack had encountered before had wreaked havoc on the kingdom. A search party was formed to find Jack and give him to the Giant, and the Witch was among them. The Witch wanted to punish Jack for his wrongdoings, and for the consequence of his actions that occurred on the kingdom.
The Witch, along with the Baker and his wife, Little Red Ridinghood, and the Royal Family, soon find themselves in a clearing in the middle of the woods, deciding what to do about Jack and the Giant. The Witch suggests that they feed Jack to the Giant, but most of the group decides against that. Out of nowhere comes Rapunzel running up to the group. Mistaking Rapunzel for Jack, the Giant steps on her and kills her. The Witch is devastated from the tragedy that had happened in front of her, and is deeply saddened now that her only sunshine was gone. Too depressed to be in front of the group, the Witch leaves to find Jack.
With Jack in her hands, the Witch brings him back to the same clearing, seeing the Baker, Little Red Ridinghood, and Cinderella. The Baker sees Jack and immediately blames him for all of the destruction, causing an uproar from Jack, who pushes the blame back on him. The group then argues and argues about whose blame the destruction really is, coming to a conclusion that it is the Witch's fault because she grew the beans that brought the Giant down. A frustrated Witch says it's the "last midnight", telling the group that she is leaving to be with her mother, and that their greatest weakness is being alone. The Witch throws the rest of the magic beans on the ground and vanishes in thin air, leaving the Baker, Jack, Cinderella, and Little Red Ridinghood alone.
- Act I Prologue
- First Midnight (speaking)
- Stay With Me
- Act I Finale
- Act II Prologue
- Witch's Lament
- Your Fault
- Last Midnight
- Act II Finale
The Witch begins the show as ugly, old, extremely aggressive, sarcastic, and powerful. Ultimately, she sacrifices her power for beauty. The Witch should be mysterious and mischievous, and yet we learn that she is really only doing what she thought was best for her child. The Witch is perhaps the ultimate "character" role and should be played by an actress able to physically and vocally interpret the role.