History Of The Role Of The Stage Director

Read Complete Research Material

History of the role of the stage director

Introduction and History of Musical Theatre

Music has always been a part of stage theatres. Greek used choral interludes in their stage dramas and regularly had commentary on the roles. In many instances, dialogues were sung by characters. It was used in miracle plays and in court theatres. It was a common practice to play music between break of drama in order to set the moods.

Opera was the first and the main source to use music for storytelling. It was used to integrate music, and story in a unified form. It became one of the most popular forms of music. The singspiel was also used as a form of opera, usually for comedy and fantasy. They have romantic main plots and comic subplots. Most Opera are through composed, which set the whole show to music. It involves highly romantic and melodramatic plots.

Till the twentieth century, there was no American Operas and they played only European Operas. Even small cities had opera houses, where people used to enjoy musical programs. Minstrel Show became very popular during Civil War in America. These musical programs included fun and humor and were highly popular. Songs and dances were part of American Stage Drama Culture and were often considered as imitation of African American Culture. Minstrel Shows included all that is music, dances, jokes and humor (Thelon, pp.1-31).

After the civil war, Variety shows took place of Minstrel Shows. It was used as a source of entertainment for working class men. These shows were performed in rowdy places. Beer and Booze was also presented to the audience during variety shows. Variety shows differed a lot from the traditional Minstrel shows in many aspects. Variety shows included dances, animal acts, acrobats, dramatic sketches etc.

After a long period of popularity, the popularity of Variety shows started to die. In the late 1920s, movies full of music started replacing Variety Shows. These movies also included some features of Variety Shows, mostly musical comedies followed by Variety Shows.

Music has always been a part of American history, and the directors have played an important role in the direction, and success of music in theatre. We will discuss the role of Directors in American Theatre in following paragraphs:

Role of Directors in Musical Theatre

Majority of American directors did not start their careers in the theatre as directors. They were involved in other disciplines, when they started working for theatre as directors. Many of them were lyricists, when they turned towards the role of direction including Charnin and Maltby. Robbins and Daniele started their careers as dancers, who later changed their role as directors. Lapine and Ockrent were the two exceptions who worked as directors from the start of their career. This vast experience gave them a great idea about the different forms of art. It allowed them to analyze the process of mounting the Broadway musical from a vantage point within the system before taking over the reins themselves (Patinkin, Sheldon, ...
Related Ads