To say that the world is an evolving place, particularly at the moment, would be a huge understatement. Things like the Black Lives Matter movement and the Rob Guest Endowment issue regarding representation of the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous and People Of Colour) are well and truly on our minds.
Over the last few months the Broadway Sessions team have been ever more conscious of song registrations that have challenged us to think about how we tell stories from lived experiences that we could never have. As part of our commitment to the Music Theatre community in Adelaide and our continued improvement, we spent some time exploring this as a team.
We saw a powerful quote on social media:
“All it means when people say you’re speaking from a place of privilege is that you’re likely to underestimate how bad the problem is by default because you are never personally exposed to that problem. It’s not a moral judgement of how difficult your life is”.
The joy of well written theatre (and art of all types) is that it can expose you to diverse stories and lived experiences with additional context and richness that dryer information sources cannot hope to replicate.
Here at Broadway Sessions, we do not believe that it is our role to censor material. In fact, we believe that it is our role to highlight issues that are important to society now, and recognise that Theatre is, and always has been, a powerful tool for challenging our pre-conceptions and world view and highlighting societal challenges. Of course, it can also sometimes just be a wonderful escape!
We are aware that there are many songs in the Music Theatre repertoire, particularly the Broadway and West End cultural melting pots, that we can never fully reflect in our current pool of performers in Adelaide. However, we do not believe that this should stop us from exploring the issues and perspectives faced by characters who have experienced and lived different lives to us. Additionally, we also recognise that there are many songs and ideas that have not stood the test of time and the development of our imperfect world well.
We carefully curate each Session and in order to address this we feel that it is our responsibility to put these stories told through music in context, not to just bury them and pretend they don’t exist. We will work with artists to understand why they want to tell particular stories, and what those stories mean to them. We will also ensure that our Hosts share this and other contextual information with you to enable us all to experience the worlds that Music Theatre has explored throughout the years.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to chat with any member of the Broadway Sessions team or send us a message here.