ZAHRA - What was happening the 1920’s and 1930’s in America and Britain?The USA was one of the defeaters in the First World War and it enjoyed aperiod of great prosperity in the 1920s, though there was a darker side toAmerican life even then. In the 1930s the Great Depression began inAmerica and its effects were very serious. Also Great Britain was affected bythe great depression and many people went travelling around the worldlooking for new jobs.PARNYAN - What was the Great Depression?The Great Depression was a period in United States History when businesswas poor and many people were out of work. The Great Depression began inOctober 1929, when the stock market in the United States dropped rapidly.ZAHRA - How did the great depression affect the popularity of musicals, thenarratives and the audience types?The great depression affected the poor and the rich, as many people werenot able to go and watch musical plays as they couldn’t afford it due to poorbusiness and recession. Thousands of investors lost large sums of money andmany were wiped out, lost everything. Musicals became mainly for the richpeople. The theme of the musical plays were also affected as their playswere based on terrors of the great depression, nothing lively or exciting wouldhave taken place. It was all based around the fact that people were losingtheir businesses and jobs.Also vaudeville musicals suffered drastically as the rate in the amount ofvaudeville plays had dropped from thousands to around 300.PARNYAN -Well know musicals during the great depressionPorgy and BessPorgy and Bess is a well-known opera performed in the 1935 this music waswritten by George Gershwin. Porgy and Bess was one of the first best greatOpera’s. The storyline of Porgy and Bess is about a disabled black beggarliving in the slums of Charleston in South Carolina, Charleston’s biggestattempts is to rescue Bess from the rulers of Crown her violent and possessivelover.This musical was popular as it related to how people were living during the1930’s especially as the great depression was at its highest.
ZAHRA - Another famous musical called Babes in Toyland and the storyline ofthis musical isTom the Pipers Son is about to marry Mary Quite Contrary. On the eve of theirwedding, evil miser Barnaby hires two henchmen to drown Tom and stealMarys sheep, cared for by Little Bo Peep, therefore divested Mary and thechildren she lives with of their livelihood, forcing her to marry Barnaby. Thesheep are stolen, but Gonzorgo and Roderigo, Barnabys henchmen, double-cross him by selling Tom to a band of gypsies instead, leaving Tom with theopportunity to escape and make his way with Mary, Bo-Peep, and otherMother Goose characters to Toyland.This musical is based on how society was in America. The theme of thismusical is love and dream, which could be achieved through hard work. Dueto the great depression the American dream was slowly fading but yet thismusical showed how to overcome different obstacles which was importantas life was very hard during the 1930’s. Also during this time of period mostpeople could not be trusted as they only looked out for themselves.PARNYAN - How had musicals changed at this time and why?Musicals had changed at this time as it was really difficult for people to getmoney and produce really high end musicals. Also the targeted audiencechanged dramatically because only the wealthier people could go andwatch musicals, as they were the only ones who could still afford to spendmoney on luxuries. This all happened due to the Great Depression becausepeople had little money to spend and Economic Growth was really slow atthis time