Productions reflect changes in society. In the modern time period, productions have been written due to occurrences or in retaliation to society. For example the acceptance of homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious icons, the role of the government, the use of drugs and alcohol and social morays eg divorce.
Before the 1920s plays tended to avoid social issues. But more plays came out that challenged society, especially between the 1960s and 1990s. Homosexuality is once socially unacceptable and thought of as both a mental illness and a crime. However after the Stonewall riots in June 1969, homosexuality became more acceptable and began appearing in many plays including “Boys in the band”. It was the first play to portray gay men and deal realistically with homosexuality before a mainstream audience. Interracial relationships were also something that was regarded as not acceptable by society. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was a 1967 groundbreaking play dealt with the then-controversial subject of inter-racial marriage which was still then illegal in 16 U.S. states. In my monologue entitled Night Luster she says “Jesus” twice in vain. This would have been prohibited by the Lord Chancellors office had it have been written earlier as it would have been considered blasphemy. In the 1690s the age of the hippies came. Drugs and alcohol was a large part of this era and the theatre adjusted around it and incorporated it into plays. Jesus Christ Superstar incorporated and challenged religious icons. It questioned Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene and gave the image of Jesus being a rock star and Mary Magdalene being almost a “groupie”. It placed the religious icons (Jesus) in a contemporary situation.
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