History of Musical Theatre Outline Musical theatre is a unique adaptation to the classical western theatre utilizing music, song, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance to convey the humor, pathos, love, anger, and all the other possible feelings of the human experience ad infinitum. This is perfectly described by an E.Y. Harburg quote, a favorite of my own professor and famous producer, Stuart Ostrow, “Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.” This is the very characteristic that has allowed musical theatre to not only survive but to continuously impact humanity over the course of history, from humble ancient antecedents of theatre to the multi-million institution of the modern musical on Broadway. It has consistently proven that although the technological advances of humanity and the mediums from which information is conveyed to the masses are always changing, that the musical theatre shall always remain as a defining cultural trait of humanity. The very antecedents of the musical theatre can be traced back to Europe in the Fifth Century Before Common Era, where music and dance were common inclusions to stage comedies and tragedies in Greek theatre. Famous dramatists such as Aeschylus and Sophocles would compose their own music to accompany their plays and choreographed the dances of the chorus. This trend would continue all the way into the Third Century Before Common Era, very well depicted by the Roman comedies of Plautus which similarly included classic song and dance routines to be performed in coercion with the orchestrations. Although, the Romans began to incorporate their own engineering advances onto the very stage with the inclusions of more complex stage equipment... ... middle of paper ... ...ociety and its vernacular idiom. It was from America that the more direct style emerged, and in America that it was able to flourish in a developing society less hidebound by nineteenth-century tradition." The musicals of the Roaring Twenties, borrowing from vaudeville, music hall and other light entertainments, tended to emphasize star actors and actresses, big dance routines, and popular songs, at the expense of plot. Typical of the decade were lighthearted productions like Sally; Lady Be Good; Sunny; No, No, Nanette; Oh, Kay! and Funny Face. While the books of these shows may have been forgettable, they featured stars such as Marilyn Miller and Fred Astaire and produced dozens of enduring popular songs ("standards") by, most notably, Jerome Kern, the Gershwin brothers, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Vincent Youmans, and the team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.