From the stage to the screen, movie and play productions have been famously admired from around the world. Growing up around theatre and choir, I have always been interested in the magic that becomes of musical theatre. My obsession with musicals is well known within my family and friends. When I am in a car and I have the power of playing music, there is no surprise when the whole car ride is full of songs from musicals.
I began to fall in love with musical theatre when I was in elementary school, I was shown the major ones such as The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, and Rent. At that age I definitely didn’t understand the meaning of the plays but all I knew was that I fell in love with the music. As I grew up I understood the meanings and themes behind them and grew a deeper love and understanding for the music and storyline.
Throughout high school I got to be a part of plays like Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music. I wasn’t in the plays; but I got to be a part of the crew like makeup and then the light and sound board. Behind the scenes is just as important as the lead role.
Pushing my personal experiences aside, I got to witness how musical theatre affected everyone else. Giving them a place to escape and feel safe, all while allowing them to open up and be themselves.
Musical theatre is a performance that takes songs, spoken words, acting, and dancing and mixes them together and puts it on one stage. The stories and the emotional content use humor, pathos, love, and anger and then all of that is communicated through words and movement.
There are many different types of musicals, those include book musicals, revue musicals, jukebox musicals, film musicals, concept musicals, and pop/rock musicals.
Musical theatre gives a grand importance to the world and everyone in it. It teaches social awareness by exposing social issues, events, and cultures through scripts. Each of those aspects helps humans develop understanding of literature, performance, and expression.
It began back during the ancient Greece times and evolved over time to include a variety of forms throughout centuries. The very first performance of musical theatre in America took place back in 1735. Following in those footsteps was the great all mighty Broadway, originating mid-1700s with operas and Shakespearean plays.
Just like news stations giving information about important topics and events, musicals portray them through dance and song. It opens a wide range space for personal expression to flow freely.
Nothing gives more serotonin than the memory of going to a play and having all your senses in your body experience the magic of theatre. You walk into the room; you are waiting for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and finally all you see is the low dimmed soft yellow lights lighting up the aisle ends, pointing you towards your seat. When you sit down with the playbill in hand, you begin to read the people’s names that are involved including the tech crew. You hear the low instrumental sounds of the play’s soundtrack filling up your ears. You inhale and smell the sweet wood scents from the sawdust left behind from building the sets. You can almost still smell the now-dried paint that they painted the walls with a couple days before. Your hands run along the smooth wooden arm rests on both sides of your seat, then goes down to the soft velvet material the cushion you’re sitting on is covered with. Your heart begins to race as your eyes now look up to the bright red curtain that is lit up with lights. The music fades, the lights go completely off, and the curtain opens.
Lights, Camera, Action.
Sarah Lawson is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.