Broadway is Evolving to Combat Stereotypes

As the world around us continues evolving, our media is bound to keep up with these changes.

People look up to the media in which they are consuming, whether it’s movies, music, commercials or shows. Ultimately, people listen to what they hear, and that is why it’s important that the media keeps up with the pace of our culture.

For years, the Broadway community has been one of the most renowned forms of theatre in the world. Moreover, Broadway is known as one of the most famous tourist attractions in New York City.

As a born-and-raised New Yorker, I love going to see a Broadway show with family or friends. I saw a wide variety of shows growing up, but it wasn’t until recently I noticed the Broadway community has been incorporating many societal changes. 

Stereotypically, many shows include a romantic conflict between a boy and a girl.

Nonetheless, in 2018, the Broadway community was introduced to The Prom.

It depicts the unique story of several narcissistic famous actors who travel to Indiana to help a lesbian high school student whose prom was canceled after she announced her plans to take her girlfriend. Aside from tackling issues with prejudice toward the LGBTQ+ community, The Prom discusses various political and social debates our society is currently facing.

The play does a great job of using exquisite dance routines and humorous one-liners to promote a message of acceptance. Furthermore, The Prom made history by showcasing the first LGBTQ kiss with its performance at the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Broadway performances have always been a tradition at the Parade, and by having the two leads of The Prom kiss in front of everyone showed the public how our society is becoming a more accepting environment. 

Dear Evan Hansen, the 2017 Tony Award Best Musical winner, is known for its originality and attention to modern problems in society.

It discusses important mental health issues that are associated with social media, such as social anxiety and depression.

As social media becomes more prevalent, society is bound to be affected by the emergence of different social media platforms. Dear Evan Hansen depicts the story of a high school boy named Evan whose private letters get spread throughout the school, and his anxiety spirals out of control as his life story goes viral.

Suddenly, due to social media, Evan is carrying a trail of lies in order to protect himself. Years ago, a show like Dear Evan Hansen probably wouldn’t have existed, but now that social pressure associated with social media is such a relevant issue, the creation of this show has inspired countless Broadway fans.

Similar to this show, Be More Chill, which was introduced to Broadway this past year, discusses how an unpopular high school boy takes a pill to become cool. Furthermore, "Mean Girls," the hit 2004 movie, is now playing on Broadway. Nonetheless, this show was modified to incorporate modern high school issues, such as social media.

All in all, since Broadway shows are a respected form of entertainment, it is vital that different shows shed light on different issues affecting our society.

Broadway has the power to change its audience’s perspectives on various debates and ultimately help change our society for the better.