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Musical Theatre in the 1930s and 1940s

Developments of Musical Theatre During the 1920s-1940s

Charlie Henderson

on 26 April 2013

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Transcript of Musical Theatre in the 1930s and 1940s

Musical Theatre in the 20s, 30s and 40s What is happening in the world? Great Depression - 1929-1941 Second World War - 1939-1945 Stock market crash of 1929
Widespread poverty and hunger
Crime rates rises
Employment goes down, school enrolment lowers
People turn to entertainment to lift spirits; cinema is a cheaper alternative to live theatre.
Example: Opening to Munchkinland Scene from The Wizard of Oz Germany rises to power in Europe; many war crimes committed, including Holocaust
A few countries take bulk of world power
U.S. and Canada go to war - many broken families due to soldiers leaving
Women permitted to serve in military; drastically alters view of women in workplace
Example: Rodgers and Hammerstein: "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music The Roaring Twenties - 1920-1929 Four Major Conclusions: 1 2 3 4 Despite reinforcing some negative stereotypes, early musicals such as Show Boat did a great deal to advocate for the rights of African Americans. Improvements in technology, and the affordability of cinema made musical films a popular choice in the 1930s and beyond. During the Great Depression, people looked to films and theatre as an escape from the disappointments of everyday life. World War II led to greater awareness of social issues, which was reflected in the subject matter of musical productions. Rise of cinema - first "talkie" in 1922; Technicolor invented
Vaudeville and operetta still culturally significant
Transition to modern musical theatre
Composers such as Rodgers and Hart (Babes in Arms, Pal Joey), George and Ira Gershwin (Girl Crazy, Strike Up the Band) and Vincent Youmans (No, No, Nanette) become popular during this period.
Example: Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II: "Can't Help Lovin Dat' Man" from Show Boat Learning Goal: I will understand the relationship between musical theatre and society from 1920-1950.
I will understand the political, economic and societal circumstances of the time.
I will use this information to explain trends in theatre during this period.
I will analyze musical works as a product of the period in which they were created.
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