Evolution of Musical Theatre
Mr.ThoenPeriod two3 March 2018Evolution of Musical TheatreIn the musical Pippin, the main character, Pippin sang in Corner of the Sky, "Everything has its seasons, everything has its time." This line explains that things are constantly changing. Musical theatre has evolved over the years musically, in the plot, and the setting of the plays. Over time, the music in musical theatre has shifted from a narrow to a broader focus.
During the 5th century B.C. in Ancient Greece, early musical theatre first started with an all men cast and chorus. They would sing more focused songs to the gods and perform to express their ideas (University Press Inc.). But over the years different genres of music have been introduced into musical theatre, such as jazz and rock and roll (BeHappy/ Magioery). This brought a younger audience that could enjoy the music that would convey a broader message, making musical theatre more popular.
Throughout the years the plot in musical theatre developed from a weak to a stronger storyline. The early stages of musical theatre would play music that would be irrelevant to the plot of the musical, and the storyline would not have a strong structure of the rising action, climax, and falling action. For example, comedy was opinionated humor that would have random funny actions with negative music (Magiorey/UPI).
Eventually, the stories started addressing the social issues of the time period with a stronger story plot. For example in the musical, Hair the main idea of the show was to express how the hippies felt about the Vietnam War and how they wanted peace (FoxFace20/Magiorey). The stories include a more vivid plot that is interesting with more opinions and responses of social issues such as gender, race equality, and peace. Over the years, the setting in musical theatre has changed from outdoor to indoor performances.
At first, the setting of the shows took place in open outdoor courtyards in Athens, Greece. Later, theatre was taken to Rome where the performances took place in the church. Shortly after, it became separate from the church, because the performers would mock the church (UPI/FoxFace20/Magiorey).
After the 18th century, opera houses and theatres were built allowing for indoors stages with lighting effects and props (FoxFace20). Thus, there is a separate place dedicated for people to come and enjoy theatrical performances. To summarize, the music, the plot, and the setting of musical theatre has evolved allowing people to experience more vivid stories and hear a clearer point of view on issues of the time.
It has transformed from a narrow focused weak plot, and outdoor setting, to a broader focus strong plot, and indoor setting. This change has been rapidly growing year after year and will continue into the future. As in the Broadway musical, Waitress, "Everything changes".