Benefits of Musical Theatre
How is musical theatre beneficial? I never thought about why musical theatre has been such an important part of my life. Growing up, I know that seeing a musical is very special. I was fully aware that they have a strong emotional connection to them. But I never thought about why they have their benefits.
Now that I am older, I have put more thought into that question. I believe that theatre teaches empathy. Musicals teach empathy because they are filled with so many emotions. There are some things I have never gone through that are a part of musical theatre such as unrequited love. I have never personally felt unrequited love but I have felt it due to characters like Elphaba, Glinda, Phantom, and Eponine. These characters either go through that heartbreak either for a short period of time or throughout their entire life. Seeing how they respond to that kind of heartbreak shows how far people will go for love.
Empathy is hard to learn, but musicals can teach you that. Through the different journeys musical characters have gone, I can develop a sense of empathy. Musicals have an unique way of emotionally connecting you to the story and you feel what the characters are feeling, which is why you can develop an empathy for them.
They have allowed me to understand emotions in a safe environment. The emotions are all over the place, but when combined, they take you through the whole scale of emotions. Excitement, joy, love, sad, and heartbreak are the main emotions and the other emotions sprout from them. When you emotionally connect to a musical and you are loving it, than joy will always be with you.
When you care about what happens to the characters, you want to feel their emotions and go on the journey with them. Death is one of the main components of musicals and there are songs about them. That is a hard concept to get used to, but I learned to love those scenes. Sad is that kind of emotion that cannot sit alone and the only way to adjust to that emotion is to have it increase bit by bit. That emotion needs some sort of support to get used to it and that support tends to be a positive emotion.
Musicals teach you about history because they can led you to researching information about the time period. I Learned a lot about 19th century France because I was interested in learning more about “Les Mis” and “Phantom of the Opera”. Musicals show how certain themes of the past are still relevant today. Those are themes such as injustice, racism, death, unrequited love, humanity, friendship, and family. I know there is more to learn from musicals. Learning about society connects to history as well. They introduced me to parts about society that I never knew existed such as prostitution and that is a difficult topic to have in musicals. Watching “Lovely Ladies” makes me feel uncomfortable, but I learned to tolerate it because I understand why it is in the show. Les Mis shows how society treats criminals, which is usually unfair because they are treated poorly, which can change who a person really is.