For my class in the fall, I'm going to play them songs from musicals that deal with issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality. It'll just be a way to start the class, since the course's primary medium is film, but musicals are interesting in that they don't necessarily reflect society. The age-old question with film is whether it reflects society or creates new conceptions of society. In theatre, that question doesn't exist, which is interesting because actors are literally before the audience (in correct dimensions) and everything (props, backdrop, clothing) is all tangible and factual. Whereas film can distort images (CGI, close-ups, etc.), theatre is directly in front of you. It's more real than film, and yet that question doesn't exist in theatre. In fact, with musicals especially, people suspend their disbelief. Anything goes in theatre. And certainly with the opening of Avenue Q, more people are realizing that theatre is at the forefront of change. Think Angels in America or Rent. It's where people can express topics that can't otherwise be discussed.
So here is my line-up. I think it's kind of awesome.
1. Prologue from I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change where two guys and two girls are getting ready for a date (gender) 2. Tear Jerk from I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change where a guy let's a woman pick the movie on a date, and it's a chick-flick and all he wants he "some naked shots of Sharon Stone" (gender) 3. Everyone's a Little Bit Racist from Avenue Q (duh, race) 4. America from West Side Story (I may actually show this scene from the film, race) 5. There's a Light from Hairspray (race) 6. If You Were Gay from Avenue Q (sexuality) 7. I'll Cover You from Rent (sexuality) 8. Wouldn't It Be Loverly? from My Fair Lady (class) 9. BoHo Days from Tick, Tick... BOOM! (class) 10. It's a Privilege to Pee from Urinetown (globalization)