Crazily enough, I learned a lot about storytelling in musical theatre. While I don’t have the talent to be in musicals, I still discovered a lot when I was going to them. So, what did it teach me about storytelling?
Most of what I discovered about storytelling belonged to Wicked. I was able to discover what emotional connection means, and the importance behind it. I was able to learn that the best plots tend to have positive and negative emotions. I learned why do both need to exist. In addition, I discovered that some of the best storylines also have complex plots. I learned that characters have to be complex in order to feel real. The same applies to love triangles- being complex and strong; as a matter of fact, Wicked was the beginning of discovering love triangles.
This is crazy to say, but Les Mis did teach me other things. I always believed death couldn’t be memorable- turns out this musical taught me the opposite. Yes, sad was already in musicals, but heartbreak wasn’t. Les Mis made me look at emotions a bit deeper- so I was able to discover heartbreak because of Les Mis. Wicked may have been the start for love triangles; turns out I didn’t fully understand them. I didn’t quite understand unrequited love- I didn’t even know that was a term. Eponine really did helped me understand unrequited love- “On My Own” really did help further develop Wicked’s love triangle. Wicked and Les Mis are home to two incredible love triangles. In addition, I don’t know if I understood the importance of backstory, but believe Les Mis helped with that.
Crazy how Les Mis challenged what I thought I knew about musicals.
Here is something I don’t know when I discovered it. I don’t know which musical helped me understand that flawed characters tend to be some of the best. I intentionally made Sparkle, the main character of Tale of the Cattail, have flaws. I even had to give my antagonist, Sarge, a tragic backstory. In some ways, tragic backstories are incredible for some characters, but not all. Just depends on who the character is.