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I choose West Side Story for my topic.
1. (20 pts) Socio-economic climate in our society at the time of the opening (Remember, I’m looking for both our social climate and our economic climate. And this is about our society at the time of the opening, not the society within the show)
Each of the following bullets needs to be answered:
-The Social Climate is in regards to the country’s collective morality and beliefs. What Where did the majority of the population stand on important issues?
-Were we a more conservative or progressive society as a whole?
-Collective feelings about race?
-Collective feelings about women’s rights?
-Collective feelings about LGBTQ rights?
-Were we overwhelmingly religious or leaning secular?
-Collective feelings about war?
2. The Economic Climate is in regards to how our country was doing financially?
-Were we in a recession or depression?
-Were we experiencing an economic boom?
-What were we manufacturing?
-What was the price of staple items like milk and bread?
-What was the average yearly family income?
3. (10 pts) Important NATIONAL news headlines in the US at the time of the opening (I’m not asking for headlines about the show itself. What was going on in our country at the time of the opening? Think about the bigger picture.) There needs to be a minimum of 5 headlines. NOT about the same subject. List them verbatim. Explain the context.
4. (25 pts)
– Why the musical was written and/or produced? Who’s idea was it? I’m not asking for your opinion. Do your research. What made the composer, lyricist, producer, etc. want to create this particular musical? Was their source material? What was the impetus behind it?
Did the musical make a social or political comment about the times in our world outside the musical? What is the comment it’s making? What is the message? Again, do your research.
5. (15 pts)
Were similar live musicals written and produced at the same time (within 5 years)?
– The similar musical must be the original production, not a revival version. Note the difference. For instance, the musical Gypsy debuted on Broadway in 1959. There have been several revivals of it since. Those revivals wouldn’t count for this question…only when it debuted.
List the year it was/they were produced.
What were they?
How are they similar? This is the whole point of this question. If you don’t answer this, you won’t receive any points for number 10. Please be specific with this answer. It shouldn’t be vague.
The similarity can’t be love or romance.
Regarding similarities, I’m asking about topic, message, theme, style, etc. Think about what the musical is about or the style and then just Google something like – Musicals about [name the topic, message, theme, style, or whatever else you think of].
Do your research here. Here’s a clue: The answer to all of the musicals listed is “yes.” Now you have to find the answers.
If you only name a show without the date and a clear explanation of the similarity, you won’t received any points for this question.
Musical Chosen: “Dear Evan Hansen”
Similar Musical: “We Have Apples”
When was it produced – 2016
How are they similar – A pop musical that also deals with mental illness. In this case, depression, where Dear Evan Hansen deals with mental health and suicide.
Please do your research. Please do NOT confuse the film version or an earlier straight play version with the staged musical version. I’m asking about the original, musical Broadway production.
Also, make sure you understand the difference between the original production and a revival. You may add information about a revival version, but the point of the paper is about the original production.