• Musical theatre and societal influence

    From Joe Sendhall@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 1 21:55:10 2019
    This might be something of a move away from the topic of the
    group. If so, I apologize. The question just sort of popped
    into my head and I thought to post it.


    Humorist Finley Peter Dunne once wrote that the newspapers
    "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable". I first
    heard that quote in relation to art in general. It seems to
    be one of those quotes that people apply to any cultural
    entity that is deemed important.

    Of the theatrical productions I've seen, most have been
    non-musical plays, a relative minority have been musicals,
    and a few have been operas. The vast majority of all of
    them have had a focus on entertainment. Most of the plays
    that I have seen that try to fulfill Dunne's quote have
    been college productions where risky productions are
    encouraged to help the learning process. Outside of that
    there have been musicals like Fun Home and Hamilton, but
    mostly everything hews towards the safer option of being
    pure entertainment rather than being something of
    societal import, either in part or in whole.

    So, with the above in mind and mostly just for the sake
    of a thought experiment, what would need to happen to
    make musical theatre something that truly comforts the
    afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Is it even
    possible? Theatre in general seems to have slowly become
    something of a niche. There appears to be no longer a
    particular art form that crosses all the cultural lines
    (well, in America at any rate). Assuming that is true,
    perhaps what I am suggesting is not possible. If it
    was possible, however, how would it work?

    Apologies again if this is considered inappropriate for
    the group. In addition, my Usenet server doesn't have
    all the messages in this group, so if I'm duplicating
    someone else's post, I apologize for that as well.

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